At least 22 die in Peru after bus plunges into ravine

A photo said to be of the scene uploaded to social media.
A photo said to be of the scene uploaded to social media.PHOTO: TWITTER

LIMA (REUTERS) - At least 22 people died in Peru on Wednesday (Feb 21) when a bus hurtled some 100m into a ravine in the mountainous south in the country's second major bus crash this year, a local official said.

"There are at least 22 dead. There are some more bodies, so this could rise," Gustavo Rondon, in charge of health care in the Arequipa region, told RPP radio.

The head of civilian defence in the regional government, Jacqueline Choque, said at least 20 people were injured.

The bus had some 45 passengers, according to operator Rey Latino.

The crash occurred on a curve on the Panamericana Sur highway in the Ocona district. Road accidents are common in Peru, where roads are considered unsafe and bus drivers lack training.

At least 48 people died in early January when a bus collided with a truck and careened off a cliff near the area of Pasamayo on the Pacific coast.