High-speed bus crashes into canyon and leaves 34 dead; see images

In all, 33 people died in an accident on the Central Highway, in Peru Photo: ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP

An accident involving a bus on the Central Highway in Peru left 34 dead. In all, 68 people were in the vehicle. According to an update from the Ministry of Health, released this Wednesday afternoon, 21 of them are still admitted to hospitals. Four are children between the ages of 2 and 9 years old.

More than 30 people died in a bus accident in Peru Photo: ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP
More than 30 people died in a bus accident in Peru Photo: ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP

The occurrence in the early hours of this Tuesday may have been caused by the excess speed in which the vehicle was traveling, almost triple the amount allowed. According to the Superintendence of Land Transport of People, Cargo and Goods (Sutran), GPS data showed that the driver was driving at 94 km/h in a stretch where the maximum speed is 35 km/h. Officials believe he lost control of the vehicle and then capsized at kilometer 72 of the road near Matucana district.

After the Sutran report, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) decided to suspend the authorization for the company León Express to transport people and carry out the route on the Central Highway. The vehicle involved in the accident had all documentation up to date and was authorized to make the trip.

Rescue teams operate at a location where a bus crashed in Peru Photo: SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA / REUTERS
Rescue teams operate at a location where a bus crashed in Peru Photo: SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA / REUTERS

The bodies of the victims arrived at the Central Morgue in Lima late on Wednesday, but family members were told that the procedures for identification and removal could only be carried out from 8 am on Thursday. Some of them arrived in the capital from Huánuco, the starting point of the vehicle that overturned, and spent the night at the door of the public building.

The families also complain that they did not receive support from the León Express company, despite the company having informed in a statement that it was in contact with them. Betty Norbel, who lost her brother, nephew and girlfriend in the accident, was one of those who complained about the non-existent contact.

— The company has to assume responsibilities. We really need the support, the whole family is harmed. I hope the company assumes, at least, the expenses with the burial – he said in an interview with RPP radio.