48 dead as bus plunges off cliff in Peru after collision

Emergency workers rushing to locate survivors. Efforts to recover bodies from the bus were suspended at nightfall because the rising tide had reached the bus.
Rescue workers at the site of the crash on the Pasamayo highway. The bus was travelling to the capital Lima from the city of Huacho, about 130km north of the capital, with 55 passengers and two crew members.PHOTO: REUTERS
Rescue workers at the site of the crash on the Pasamayo highway. The bus was travelling to the capital Lima from the city of Huacho, about 130km north of the capital, with 55 passengers and two crew members.
Emergency workers rushing to locate survivors. Efforts to recover bodies from the bus were suspended at nightfall because the rising tide had reached the bus.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LIMA • At least 48 people were killed after a bus plunged off a seaside cliff in Peru after colliding with a truck on a precarious stretch known as the "devil's curve".

The bus was travelling to Lima from the city of Huacho, about 130km north of the capital, with 55 passengers and two crew members, when it went off the Pasamayo highway about noon on Tuesday.

It crashed 100m, and landed upside down on rocks at the edge of the sea.

At least 48 people were dead, according to a statement posted on the Interior Ministry's website.

Efforts to recover bodies from the overturned vehicle were suspended at nightfall because the tide had risen and reached the bus, the police said.

A police helicopter winched some rescue workers to the wreck of the blue bus while others precariously made their way to the crash site on foot, with the help of ropes.

The navy sent a patrol boat to assist rescuers, who were trying to get everyone out before the tide came in.

There were a few survivors, but most people on the bus were dead.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in a Twitter post, said: "For us, it is very painful to suffer an accident of this magnitude. My deep solidarity lies with the pain suffered by the relatives."

The accident took place on the coastal highway about 45km north of the capital Lima, said Colonel Dino Escudero, head of the police highway patrol division.

The Pasamayo highway is intended for the use of trucks and buses, and cars usually take a different route.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline '48 dead as bus plunges off cliff in Peru after collision'. Print Edition | Subscribe