A public transportation bus carrying at least 45 people crashed into a cliff near the southern town of Arequipa, 475 miles outside of Peru’s capital Lima, killing at least 44 passengers and injuring at least 24, according to police.
According to Highway Police chief Jorge Castillo, the death toll rose as officers counted more bodies on the scene.
The accident took place earlier on Wednesday near the province of Camaná where the Panamericana Highway crosses a narrow bridge with no guard rail to avoid vehicle overturning and falling deep into a lake bed ravine.
The bus belonged to Lima based Empresa De Transportes Rey Latino, and departed the province of Caravelí for Arequipa on Tuesday evening.
#LoÚltimo Reportan más de 20 muertos por caída de bus a un abismo en Arequipa https://t.co/OX9Zgxb40t (Video: Compañía de bomberos de Arequipa) pic.twitter.com/iZBeWuBGmq
— Agencia Andina (@Agencia_Andina) February 21, 2018
Last January, another public transportation bus crashed near Lima, leaving 52 people killed in what is considered the worst road fatality in Peru’s history.