Guatemala bus crash

Guatemala bus crash kills dozens

Bus went off the road and down a ravine north-west of Guatemala City, rescuers say.

The wrecked bus lies at the bottom of a ravine at San Martin Jilotepeque

The wrecked bus lies at the bottom of a ravine at San Martin Jilotepeque in the Chimaltenango region of Guatemala. Photograph: Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters

At least 43 people were killed and dozens injured when a bus went off a cliff on a hairpin bend in rural Guatemala, tumbling 200 metres (660ft) into a river at the bottom of a ravine, officials said.

Rescue workers said the bus plunged off of a paved highway about 60km (37 miles) north-west of Guatemala City. More than 40 people were taken to hospitals for treatment.

The bus had been travelling south towards Guatemala City. Rescue workers said conditions were dry and mostly sunny, and that the bus was likely over capacity. “The bus was overloaded,” said Sergio Vasquez, a volunteer firefighter at the site.

He said 38 people died at the scene including six children and 12 women. Five more died at hospitals.

Local television said many passengers had been vendors taking farm produce to market.

The government declared three days of national mourning.

The last major bus accident in Guatemala occurred in 2008 when an overcrowded bus slid off a highway and down a 15-metre slope about 40 miles south-east of the capital, killing 53.

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