Twenty-one dead, numerous injured as bus plunges 200 meters in southern highlands

At least 21 people are dead after an inter-provincial bus racing through Peru’s southern highlands went over a cliff early Friday, daily El Comercio reported.

The accident occurred at 5:00a.m. when a bus belonging to the Virgen del Carmen transport company plunged down a 200 meter abyss after losing control on a higway between Paucartambo and Cusco.

The accident, which also left some 47 people injured, was a result of excessive speed, authorities say.

In Peru – where the high number of severe car and bus accidents is notorious – many of the vehicles are old, drivers reckless, and the roads often in a bad state. In the past several years, an average 3,500 people have died and 40,000 are injured every year as a result of car or bus accidents.

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