At least 26 dead in northern Peru as bus plunges down ravine

LIMA (AFP) - At least 26 people died and seven others were injured early on Saturday after a bus plunged 200m down a ravine in northern Peru, police said. The bus veered off a mountain road near the town of Otuzco some 570km north of Lima.

"So far, we've recovered 26 bodies, and seven people have been hurt," said Mr Asto Moreno, an official with Otuzco's police force.

The buthorities blamed the region's treacherous, winding roads, the poor condition of the vehicle and driver error for the accident.

Road accidents are common in the Peruvian Andes due to poorly maintained roads, inconsistent vehicle maintenance, and the propensity of overworked bus drivers to speed. In 2011, 1,124 people were killed and 2,583 injured in 1,108 highway accidents, according to the latest official figures.