Almost 40 People Killed in Two Separate Bus Accidents

Almost 40 people have died in two separate bus accidents in Peru this week, highlighting the ongoing safety concerns of poor driving and bus maintenance standards, particularly among smaller transportation companies. 

On Saturday, an interprovincial bus went over a 200-meter cliff to fall in a river, in Peru’s northern La Libertad region, killing at least 34 people, daily La Republica reported. Seven people are still missing, while six people are injured.

The bus, reportedly owned by the Empresa de Transportes Horna, was traveling with passengers who included teachers, doctors and nurses from the Andean town of Huamachuco to the coastal city of Trujillo.  The accident occurred early Saturday when the driver fell asleep, resulting in the bus plunging over the cliff and into the Moche river.

“I feel like life has given me a second opportunity,” said Amelia Coronado, a young teacher who survived the horrific accident. “I only felt us rolling, and I had to pull myself out through the vehicle window.”

Early Monday, four more people were killed and more than 20 injured in a bus accident in Peru’s southern Cusco region.  This accident, unlike the La Libertad accident and many others on narrow mountain roads, occurred on the wide InterOceanica highway, at Km 22 on the Cusco-Ocongate stretch.  State news agency Andina said this accident occurred when the bus driver lost control and came off the road.

These most recent accidents follow at least two other deadly bus accidents this year on Peru’s Andean roads, bringing the total of deaths to 77, according to media reports. In March, an interprovincial bus went over a 120-meter cliff in Arequipa region, killing at least 24 people, while another bus, also in Arequipa, went over a 150-meter cliff, killing 15 people.

The most frequent causes of interprovincial bus accidents are poor vehicle maintenance or reckless driving at night or early morning on mountain roads.

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