44 die after bus plunges into ravine in Peru


A total of 44 people were killed on Wednesday after a bus plunged a 200-metre ravine near Arequipa in southern Peru, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

The bus fell down the jagged slope from the Pan-American Highway in Arequipa state.

The police said, at least 34 people are also injured.

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The fall of a bus to an abyss caused at least 30 deaths in the Peruvian region of Arequipa, according to a preliminary report by the regional government " s Civil Defense chief, Jacqueline Choque. "However, this does not match the number of people killed and injured". Rescue teams including firefighters and police "have been working since dawn, coordinating the transfer and care of the injured", Arequipa governor Yamila Osorio wrote on her Twitter account.

The Rey Latino company operated the bus and was taking the passengers from Chala to the city of Arequipa. Road accidents are common in Peru, where roads are considered unsafe and bus drivers often lack training.

This is the second bus tragedy to happen this year, following one of Peru's worst accidents, which left 52 people dead after a bus plummeted down a cliff face.