GUATEMALA CITY – A bus carrying scores of passengers plunged down a steep cliff in western Guatemala on Monday, killing at least 43 people and injuring 40 others, firefighters said.
Cecilio Chacaj, a fire department spokesman, said the bus fell 70 meters (230 feet) to the ground after careening off the road in the municipality of San Martin Jilotepeque, 64 kilometers (40 miles) west of the capital.
Local residents who rushed to the scene of the crash volunteered to help rescuers pull victims stuck in the wreckage, Chacaj said.
“Forty people were confirmed dead at the site of the accident and three more at the hospital,” Chacaj told reporters.
Some victims were taken to hospitals in Guatemala City while others were treated at local hospitals.
The bus had left from the western province of Chimaltenango on its way to San Martin Jilotepeque.
This is the second mass tragedy to affect Guatemala in the past three days. Over the weekend, a shooting at a liquor store left 11 dead and 15 injured. The motive for the attack remains unknown.