Guatemala Bus Slides off Cliff Killing at Least 43 Passengers [video]

Accidents are Frequent on Guatemala's Mountain Roads

Guatemala Bus Plunged into Ravine killing at least 43 PeopleThe Guatemala bus plunged into a gorge about 40 miles from Guatemala City in San Martin Jilotepeque. More than 50 people have been injured and 43 killed. The bus reportedly was overloaded according to witnesses. The bus is owned by Transportes Bus Company in San Martineca.

The bus had departed from the western province of Chimaltenango and was headed to San Martin Jilotepeque. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Cecilio Chacaj, spokesman from fire department, said the bus staggered of the road into the town of San Martin Jilotepeque and toppled about 70 meters. Residents rushed to the accident and voluntarily began helping pull trapped people from the wreck.

At least forty people were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident while three more died at the hospital. Some of the injured victims were taken to hospitals in Guatemala City and others were treated at local hospitals. Many of the passengers were vendors taking farm produce to market.

Traffic accidents are much too frequent on Guatemala’s mountain roads.

In March 2008 a double bus slid off a highway and slammed into a conduit near Guatemala City. At least 40 people were injured while another 57 were killed. It was reported that this bus that had about 100 passengers at the time and was nothing but a bunch of metal after the accident.

The bus had travelled about 30 miles down a hill when it crossed over the highway median directly into oncoming traffic before plunging into the ditch. This was a gruesome wreck.

Another bus accident occurred in January 2011 in Guatemala’s western highlands. At least 14 people were killed and 25 others injured.

All of the victims of this accident were ex-paramilitary members. The bus contained about 60 passengers who were a part of civil patrols established by the military to fight rebels during the internal Guatemala conflict of 1960- 1996. They were working on a government reforestation project and were on their way to receive compensation for their work.

Guatemalans of surrounding rural areas were forced to join the civil patrols by the thousands; veterans have since campaigned to receive payment for their service.

The bus was headed to the town of Concepcion Tutuapa which is west of Guatemala City. The bus veered off the road and plunged into a ravine which was 164 feet deep.

One of the survivors of this horrible accident said that the driver was speeding and as he hit a curve his breaks gave out and into the ravine the bus went. There were about 60 passengers on the bus, all of them former members of the paramilitary civil.

The accident this morning reportedly killed 43 passengers and injured at least 50. At least 24 were men, 10 were women and at least 4 were children.

 

 

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

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