Friday, October 18, 2013

Perú: 52 Killed When Commuter Bus Plunges Off 200-Meter Cliff Near Cuzco, Foreigners Please Note

According to The Latin American Tribune, at least 52 people died when a bus full of passengers plunged into a ravine in the southern Peruvian region of Cuzco on Friday night (October 18), local authorities announced.

Though at first it was reported that only 30 people had died when the bus plunged off a mountain roadway cliff estimated at 200 meters (650 feet), the mayor of the Santa Teresa district, Ruben Pinto, later contacted RPP Noticias to say that authorities were working to identify 52 victims that had been killed.

COMMENT: As I have echoed so often in the past, mass-casualty loss of life is commonplace in elevated regions of Perú, particularly those located on perilous roadways routinely unprotected without guard rails, often on roads so narrow that they can accommodate one vehicle at a time.

Although Peruvian citizens have NO choice in choosing high-risk commuter buses that travel routinely in Andean countries, foreigners DO, hence my strong recommendation that foreign visitors AVOID rural buses at all costs.

As I've mentioned in the past, most drivers of rural buses are paid minimum wage which is 750 soles monthly (US$266), forced to work 12-15 hours a day and drive buses that in most countries that would be condemned in most nations due to safety violations.