Death toll in Peru bus crash climbs to 44

By Susan McFarland  |  Feb. 22, 2018 at 9:37 AM
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Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The death toll in Wednesday's bus crash in southern Peru has risen to 44, with two dozen others injured after a coach tumbled at least 260 feet off a mountain road.

The bus fell down the jagged slope from the Pan-American Highway in Arequipa state, stopping on its side feet from the Ocoña River.

Seven of the injured, including three children, are reported to be in serious condition.

The Rey Latino company operated the bus and was taking the passengers from Chala to the city of Arequipa.

The bus was running on an expired permit, according to the transportation ministry. Bus service for the company will be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski sent condolences via Twitter.

"Since the events, all the procedures for immediate support of the rescue and transfer of victims to the nearest health centers for immediate attention were activated."

The crash came less than two months after another passenger bus plunged off a cliff on the same highway, killing 52 people.

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