LIMA, Peru – A makeshift bus carrying 51 Quechua Indians back from a party in southeastern Peru plunged off a cliff into a river, killing everyone on board, including 14 children.
The accident occurred Friday night as the red-and-yellow cargo truck made its way back from a party in the provincial capital of Santa Teresa, an area about 300 miles southeast of Lima. It went off the road and fell about 650 feet into a deep ravine, ending up in the Chaupimayo River below.
Rescuers equipped with little more than flashlights spent the night searching without success for survivors amid the twisted steel and large boulders, pulling bodies from the water. Authorities said bodies were found as far as 100 yards away from the impact site, suggesting they were thrown from the vehicle.
The cause of the accident hasn’t been determined, Taboada said, adding that the vehicle was “coming from a party in Santa Teresa at which a lot of alcohol was consumed.”
The high-altitude roads of the Peruvian Andes are notorious for bus plunges, with poor farmers comprising many of the victims. Last year, more than 4,000 people were killed in such accidents.