At least 49 people killed as truck careens off cliff in Peru

LIMA (AFP) - At least 49 people were killed when a truck careened off a cliff in the south-eastern Peru province of La Convencion, the local mayor said on Saturday.

"We are in mourning. So far, we have 49 dead," Mr Fedia Castro said on local television, adding that people often travel by truck in this region, because of a shortage of buses. The victims include 12 children, he added.

Deadly crashes are commonplace in Peru, where poorly maintained roads zig-zag up and down the towering Andes. In the last week, two other deadly crashes in southern Peru took 29 lives.

In the latest accident, the truck fell into an abyss near the town of Suyucuyo and was carrying revelers. The passengers of the damaged vehicle had participated in a regional party in the district of Santa Teresa, said the mayor .

More than 4,000 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, according to official statistics.