17 killed in Peru bus accident

September 29th, 2008 - 10:39 am ICT by IANS  

Lima, Sep 29 (IANS) At least 17 people, including two children, have been killed and 10 injured when the bus they were travelling in plunged into a 60-metre-deep ravine in western Peru, EFE news agency reported Monday.The accident occurred Sunday along a highway in Olmos district, over 800 km north of Lima, when the bus heading from the jungle city of Tarapoto to Sullana city went off the road into the ravine.

A total of 78 passengers were onboard the bus when the accident occurred.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

In the last 24 hours, at least 22 people have been killed in traffic accidents on Peru’s roadways.

On Saturday, five people were killed and seven injured in the southeastern Puno region when a vehicle crashed head-on with a truck, the official Andina news agency reported.

According to police figures, 391 people were killed and 2,777 injured in 930 road accidents in Peru in the first half of this year.

Experts say the accident rate in Peru’s interior is extremely high due to the poor condition of roads, an obsolete bus fleet and drivers who obtain licenses on the “black market” by paying between $30 and $50.

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