At least 24 people were killed and 21 others injured when a passenger bus careened off a cliff in a remote area of Peru's Huancavelica department early Monday morning.
The accident, which occurred approximately 650 kilometers southwest of Lima, remains under investigation, with authorities yet to determine the exact cause.
The tragic incident transpired at around 01:30 local time when the bus, owned by the Molina Union company, veered off the road and plunged more than 200 meters down a precipice.
The high number of casualties was confirmed by Angie Cabrera, a spokesperson for the company, who expressed their commitment to addressing the situation comprehensively. "At the moment, we know that there are 24 dead," stated Cabrera.
First responders, including firefighters and police, swiftly arrived at the scene to assist the injured and initiate recovery efforts. Those injured were transported to healthcare facilities in both Huancavelica and the neighboring Ayacucho region. Reports indicate that 12 of the injured have been treated and released, while nine others were transferred to a larger hospital in Huanta. Unfortunately, at least one individual arrived in serious condition.
Local authorities, including Manuel Zevallos, the mayor of Anco, a district in close proximity to the accident site, pointed out that the road where the tragedy occurred had been damaged by an avalanche nearly a month ago and had not received any maintenance from the Transport Ministry.
"The Transport Ministry never took a look at it, and basically, as a result, we have an accident," Mayor Zevallos expressed his concerns.
This unfortunate incident underscores the ongoing road safety challenges in Peru, with accidents of this magnitude often attributed to factors such as reckless driving, the poor condition of roads and vehicles, and the rugged geography of the region.
According to the National Road Safety Council, Peru witnesses approximately 3,000 fatalities and 55,000 injuries due to road accidents each year, emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced safety measures and infrastructure improvements. (ILKHA)
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