Armed robbery on bus in Brazil leaves 10 dead after bus smashes into tree

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - A botched armed robbery on a packed bus left 10 people dead and 24 hurt on Saturday (April 9) in southern Brazil when the vehicle hurtled into a tree, police and press reports said.

The bus, which was carrying 40 passengers, departed from the city of Presidente Prudente, in Sao Paulo state, bound for a town on the border with Paraguay where products are cheaper to buy.

Terrified passengers described how they were awakened at dawn by gunfire, before the driver lost control of the vehicle and smashed it into a tree, police and media said. The driver was among those killed.

Mr Joao Paulo Lauandos, commissioner of the southern city of Mambore, where the incident took place, told Globo G1 website: "There was a convoy of five buses and this was the last coach.

"It was intercepted by a vehicle whose occupants fired five or six times. Everything indicates that this is an attempted armed robbery."

Police are investigating.