Monday, October 7, 2013

Perú: Nineteen Killed, 30 Injured When Rural Bus Drives Off Cliff in Huancayo

According to The Latin American Tribune, nineteen people were killed and thirty others injured when a rural bus plunged off a mountainous cliff in Perú's southern region of Huancavelica.

The accident occurred early Sunday (October 6) in the mountainous district of Acoría. The bus reportedly belonged to a company called Expreso Antezana, which has an office in the capital of Lima. Two of the fatalities in the accident were children.

COMMENT: Some of the injured were taken to hospitals in Huancayo, the capital of the neighboring Junin region.

As I have said so often in the past, it is a national tragedy that roadway safety and security in Péru is so poor that scores of domestic bus travelers are killed on a weekly basis, many of which are avoidable events if relief drivers were used.

Additionally, buses need to be maintained safely and effectively. Also, if most bus travel were conducted during daylight hours to avoid collisions on mountain roadways which have virtually no illumination of any kind.

First responders must also travel long distances to accident scenes, not to mention the prevalence of non-existent traffic enforcement.

There have been several similar accidents so far this year, resulting in dozens of deaths. A bus on the Pan American Highway in Cañete in July resulted in 19 deaths, while a previous accident in the central forest region of Chanchamayo only 10 days earlier claimed 45 lives. Accidents earlier in the year on mountain roads were equally deadly.

President Ollanta Moisés Humala, 51, a former Army officer, called for a  broader commitment to roadway safety in June, following a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) stating that Perú’s roads are among the most deadly in Latin America.

Needless to say, I strongly DISCOURAGE foreign visitors from traveling by rural bus anywhere in Perú.