Friday, December 28, 2012

Ecuador: Ten Killed, 17 Injured When Bus Driver Loses Control on Mountain Curve

According to EFE, at least 10 people were killed and 17 others injured in a commuter bus accident on Wednesday (December 26) in Tungurahua, a province in Ecuador’s Andean region.

The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the bus while maneuvering a mountain curve, causing the bus to leave the roadway and plunge roughly 250 meters (820 feet) while traveling from Ambato to Pillaro.

COMMENT: Forty passengers were aboard the bus at the time.

After working in Latin America for roughly 20 years, I must urge travelers and tourists to be particularly cautious when taking rural commuter buses, as very often drivers are inexperienced and poorly paid and buses often are transporting more passengers than safety permits.

Alternatively, it is far safer to hire a car and driver through a luxury hotel or even better to fly on scheduled or chartered aircraft, particularly when traveling in mountainous regions where guard-rails are rare and fatal accidents a frequent occurrence.

Finally, all travelers and tourists should subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before departure in the event they fall ill or are injured while abroad.