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At least 30 dead, 9 missing in Peru bus crash

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Lima, Jun 19 (EFE).- At least 30 people died and nine are missing after a bus plunged into a river in Peru's central jungle province of Chanchamayo, local police said Wednesday.

Fifteen people are known to have been injured in the crash.

Highway Police chief Col. Rodorico Cubas told RPP radio that so far 30 bodies had been recovered and 15 people were being treated at local hospitals, adding that nine people remain unaccounted for.

"We're still waiting to recover nine bodies or injured people," Cubas said, adding that the injured had been transported to hospitals in communities closest to the accident site.

The police chief said that the bus went off the roadway for unknown reasons before entering a tunnel and ended up plunging into the Tarma River, some 370 kilometers (229 miles) from Lima.

Witnesses to the crash told RPP that the bus went down a 50-meter (163-foot) slope into the river and that the weather conditions at the scene had been making it difficult for emergency crews to attend to the injured and recover the bodies.

Peru's Sutran land transportation and shipping authority said that the vehicle had all the relevant permits and obligatory insurance.

The head of the Chanchamayo Health Network, Hernan Condori Machado, said that his hospital received one dead body and 10 injured people after the accident.

The injured are being treated at the hospital in La Merced, the health center in San Ramon and the Social Security Hospital in Chanchamayo.

Authorities at the morgue in La Merced said that 26 bodies had been received there, but they did not provide the identities of any of the dead.

Bus accidents - some of which result in dozens of dead and injured - are relatively commonplace in Peru's interior, where the geography, the poor state of roadways and vehicles, as well as driver imprudence or error can all be contributing factors.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130619/at-least-30-dead-9-missing-peru-bus-crash