Forty eight people are now confirmed dead after a tragic bus accident on the “Devil’s Curve” along the Peruvian coast, just north of Lima. National Police said six others have been taken to the hospital for injuries.
Fourteen of the deceased have been taken to the nearby Huaral morgue after their bus collided with a truck along the curvy, mountainous portion of the Panamerican Highway, causing their vehicle to fall at least 200 meters to the shore of the Pacific Ocean as it was traveling to Lima.
"We are pulling up another 10 along the 200 meter cliff, 12 more are hung up along the side of the cliff and 12 bodies are still within the bus”, Huaral Police Chief Hernan Valdivieso told local media.
Rescuers said they are working as quickly as possible to recover all of the deceased and the bus before the tide comes in.
Four of the accident survivors were taken to the Alcides Carrion del Callao Hospital, where they are set to be operated on, director Maria Elena Aguilar said. The other two survivors were sent to two other separate hospitals.
Officials said the bus was speeding at the time of the crash.
The "Devil’s Curve" has been the scene of innumerable accidents owing to its high volume of large vehicles on its curvy, narrow structure that is continually shrouded in ocean fog. At least eight people die every day from motor accidents in Peru, according to the National Police.
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski tweeted on his account, "it’s very painful for us, as a country, to have suffered an accident of such magnitude.” He expressed his “solidarity” with the families.
Several government institutions are working together to recover the bodies, including 150 firefighters who are managing to bring up one body at a time in an area “completely inaccessible,” commented Larry Lynch, vice president of the Firefighter's Association.