Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bus falls into ravine in Nayarit, killing 18

Eighteen people are dead after a bus traveling from Mexico City to the Mexico-United States border veered off a highway in Nayarit and plunged into a ravine early Thursday.

Twenty other people, including six children and the driver, were taken to hospital in Tepic, according to a statement issued by the Nayarit Attorney General’s Office (FGE) Thursday afternoon.

Bus in a ravine in Nayarit, Mexico
Authorities have arrested the bus’s driver, who they believe was driving faster than the highway’s speed limit. (Government of Nayarit)

The FGE said that the accident occurred at about 3 a.m. on the new Libramiento Norte highway in an area just north of Tepic called Barranca Blanca. A bus owned by the Elite bus company with approximately 42 people on board fell into a ravine that is approximately 40 meters deep, the statement said.

The position of the bus in the ravine made for a challenging rescue operation for emergency services personnel.

The FGE said that the deceased passengers haven’t been identified but reported that most were foreigners and that some of them were heading to Tijuana, Baja California, to cross into the United States. It said that 10 men, five women, two girls and a boy died in the crash.

The FGE said that people from India, the Dominican Republic and African nations were on board the bus, which is believed to have been traveling above the 80 km/h speed limit when it reached a curve, at which point it lost contact with the road.

The Nayarit accident comes not quite a month after a July 5 highway bus crash in Magdalena, Peñasco, Oaxaca, that killed 29 people. (Social Media)

In addition to being hospitalized, the 42-year-old driver has been “detained as the probable culprit of the events,” the Attorney General’s Office said. He began driving in Guadalajara — located about 220 kilometers southeast of the site of the accident — after relieving another driver.

The driver who drove the first leg of the journey, a man from the Dominican Republic and a man from Mazatlán were among 14 people who gave accounts of the accident to authorities, they said. The FGE said that the bus was in “regular mechanical condition without damage in its brake system,” but its tires were worn.

The accident occurred less than a month after a bus crash in the mountainous Mixteca region of Oaxaca left a death toll of  29 people. Seventeen people were killed in February when a bus transporting migrants from South America and Central America crashed in the state of Puebla.

Mexico News Daily 

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