53 Die When Bus Plunges Off Cliff in Guatemala

March 7, 2008

GUATEMALA CITY – A bus accident in southeastern Guatemala left a total of 53 dead and 25 injured, authorities said in an official report March 1.

The crash occurred Feb. 29 on the highway that links Guatemala City with the southeastern province of Jutiapa, when a bus owned by the Cubanita company plunged into a 50-meter-deep ravine.

According to rescue crews, the driver lost control of the vehicle at a bend due to excessive speed and apparent brake failure.

The General Transport Authority said the bus was carrying 78 passengers, well above its recommended 50-person capacity.

The bus, which had been in service for 15 years, was destroyed and the bodies of dozens of passengers were trapped amid mangled iron, making it difficult for rescue crews to remove many of the corpses.

 

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