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At least 48 people dead, 6 injured in Peru bus accent

Lima, Jan 2 (EFE).- At least 48 people were killed and six wounded Tuesday when a bus went off a highway near the Pacific Ocean in Pasamayo, an area north of Lima, and plunged off a cliff, according to the latest report from the National Police of Peru.

The head of the Police in the city of Huaral, Hernan Valdivieso, said that so far 48 people have been found dead, 14 of them have been sent to the morgue of that town.

“We are going up to another 10 over a 200-meter slope, 12 bodies are located safely and the remaining 12 others are still in the bus,” Valdivieso told RPP Noticias.

The emergency services worked all day to rescue the survivors and to locate the deceased among the twisted irons of the bus before the tide covered the vehicle, which belongs to the San Martin Company.

The head of information of the firefighters, Commander Lewis Mejia, told EFE that the rest of the bodies remain inside the damaged vehicle and that they will be taken out on Wednesday, when the rescue efforts are resumed.

Maria Elena Aguilar, the director of Alcides Carrion del Callao Hospital, where four of the injured have been hospitalized, said that the patients have multiple fractures, but are now stabilized and are waiting to undergo operations in the next hours.

Another survivor was transferred to the Sabogal hospital and the sixth is hospitalized in the Chancay Medical Center.

A handout photo made available by Agencia Andina shows a group of emergency personnel loading a victim onto a helicopter during rescue operations after a passenger bus plunged off the Pan-American Highway North, about 45 kilometers from Lima, Peru, 02 January 2018. At least 25 people died and 30 injured after a passenger bus plunged off a cliff by the sea in an area known as Pasamayo, in northern Lima, officials said. EPA/Vidal Tarqui / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

The accident happened on the Pan American Highway North about 45 kilometers (some 28 miles) from Lima in an area overlooking the ocean known as “The Devil’s Curve.”

According to highway patrol chief Dino Escudero, the bus – which was carrying 57 passengers, a driver and a female crew member – left the northern city of Huaura early Tuesday for Lima.

The accident occurred when the bus collided with a tractor-trailer and fell off the cliff.

The Minister of Transport, Bruno Giuffra, said that the first data taken from the GPS of the vehicles indicated that the cause of the accident might be speeding.

Death toll in Peru bus accident reaches 36

Lima, Jan 2 (EFE).- At least 36 people were killed and six others injured Tuesday when a bus went off a highway near the Pacific Ocean in Pasamayo, an area north of Lima, the Peruvian Health Ministry said.

Larry Lynch, deputy chief of Peru’s volunteer firefighters, told EFE that 32 bodies had been recovered, while six injured survivors were transported by helicopter to hospitals in the port city of Callao.
The vehicle made impact on a rocky stretch of coastline “and the tide is already rising,” Lynch said.

A handout photo made available by Agencia Andina shows a group of emergency personnel working to rescue victims after a passenger bus plunged off the Pan-American Highway North, about 45 kilometers from Lima, Peru, 02 January 2018. EFE

He said that 150 firefighters were engaged in the arduous task of extracting bodies from the wreckage and using ropes to hoist them to the highway above.

Working at the scene alongside the firefighters are National Police officers, sailors and Health Ministry personnel.

Emergency services officials told EFE earlier that the bus plunged into a ravine 160 meters (about 525 ft) deep.

“To suffer an accident of this magnitude is very painful for us as a country,” President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Twitter, adding that he had deployed “all immediate assistance to rescue the victims.”

The bus, which was carrying 57 passengers, a driver and a female crew member, left the northern city of Huaura early Tuesday for Lima, highway patrol chief Dino Escudero said in comments to Canal N television.

He said the accident happened on the Pan American Highway North about 45 kilometers (some 28 miles) from Lima in an area overlooking the ocean known as “The Devil’s Curve.”

The accident occurred around 11:40 am when the bus was apparently hit by a tractor-trailer, whose driver “has already been arrested at the scene,” Escudero said.

The death toll is expected to rise once rescuers can cut into the vehicle’s body to get at the people inside, emergency services officials said.

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