At least 47 dead in Ecuador bus mishap
A bus carrying families on a Sunday outing overturned on a winding mountain road, killing 47 adults and children near Quito.india Updated: Sep 25, 2006 11:46 IST
A bus carrying families on a Sunday outing overturned on a winding mountain road, killing 47 adults and children near Ecuadorean capital, police said.
Police spokesman Patricio Quimso said all passengers were killed except for five injured children taken to a Quito hospital. Three died on the way to the hospital, he said.
"There are 47 dead and five children who survived," Quimso told the agency by telephone. He said he did not know how many children were killed.
The wreck occurred near the village of Papallacta, 45 kms southeast of Quito, Quimso said.
"Due to excess speed, the driver lost control of the bus and it turned over," he said.
Quimso said the passengers had been returning to their homes in the community of Amaguana, 15 kms south of Quito. Jhonny Franco, a Red Cross spokesman, confirmed the number of dead.
Samuel Llumiquinga, the president of a neighbourhood association in Amaguana, told an Associated Press reporter that the families had rented the bus for an all-day outing at the thermal baths at Papallacta, a popular tourist site.
Llumiquinga, who was at the morgue in Quito where relatives gathered to claim victims' bodies, said he did not know how many children were on the bus.
Television images showed the bus completely destroyed and dozens of bodies placed beside the highway by rescuers.
Local residents told TV reporters that the dead included the bodies of "many" children.
Deadly crashes are common on mountain roads in the Andes, due to blind curves, poorly maintained vehicles and recklessness.
On March 24, a passenger bus tumbled 305 meters (1,000 feet) off a jungle mountain road in Ecuador, killing 17 people and injuring 16.