LA PAZ – A woman was killed and 18 other people, including several children, were injured when a bus went off a highway early Thursday in western Bolivia’s La Paz province, media reports said.
The accident occurred on the La Paz-Asunta highway when a Trans La Asunta company bus veered off the highway and plunged into a 15-meter (49-foot) ravine some 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the town of Chulumani, the Erbol radio station reported.
The injured, including six children and babies, were rescued with the help of area residents and transported to the hospital in Chulumani.
Highway accidents kill an average of 1,000 people and injure some 40,000 others each year in Bolivia, government figures show.
Accidents increase during the rainy season, which runs from October to March, with downpours making poorly maintained roads more dangerous.
The government has been trying for years to reduce the number of traffic accidents in Bolivia.
President Evo Morales’s administration enacted a law in January 2010 that cracked down on bus drivers caught working drunk, inexperienced drivers and drivers who work excessive hours.