Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tip of the Day: Avoid Rural Bus Travel in Andean Countries

According to The Latin American Tribune, at least 20 people died and another eleven were injured when a passenger bus plunged Saturday (September 13) into a 200-meter (655-foot) ravine in the southern Peruvian region of Apurimac, the National Police said.

The high death-toll occurred at kilometer 313 (mile 194) on the highway between the towns of Puquio and Chalhuanca, as the bus was en-route from Nazca province in the coastal region of Ica to Cuzco in the Andes.

According to a preliminary report, eleven women and nine men died in the crash after the bus left the roadway.

The passengers were on their way to take part in the traditional religious feast of Our Lord of Huanca.

“It’s a difficult area for rescue work, and no bodies have yet been recovered,” a police official in Chalhuanca told RPP Noticias radio.

COMMENT: According to the below link, Andean countries include Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Perú:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andean_Community_of_Nations

I strongly DISCOURAGE foreign travelers from traveling by rural bus in the aforementioned described nations!

Volunteer firefighters have reached the scene of the accident and have taken the injured to a nearby hospital, while continuing to recover the remains of 20+ bodies.

As I have said so often in the past, traveling by bus in rural Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Perú is fraught with considerable risk that can often result in high-casualty death tolls.

Invariably, rural bus travel in Andean nations result in high death-tolls and permanent injuries from the following factors:

-- Fatigued drivers who are overworked as a result of multiple driving jobs;

-- Inexperienced driving skills;

-- Maintenance deficiencies on rural buses that owners fail to proactively address;

-- Frequent fatalities and serious injuries as a result of very dangerous roadways in mountainous regions with non-existent guard-rails, barriers and very often insufficient roadway space to accommodate two-way traffic; and

-- Ineffective traffic enforcement in high-risk regions.