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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 08:05 GMT
Bus crash in Peru jungle kills 49
Some 49 people were killed when a bus plunged off a bridge into a river in Peru's northern jungle, officials say.

A total of 15 others were injured when the vehicle travelling between the capital, Lima, and the city of Pucallpa fell 50m (165ft) into the Yurac river.

A bus company spokesman said the accident, in the region of Ucayali, may have been caused by very heavy rain.

Observers say bus crashes are common in the Andean nation, where drivers often travel at speed around mountain curves.

The rescue operation was difficult because of continued downpours, an unnamed police official in Aguaytia, the scene of the accident, told Reuters news agency.

Workers are said to have pulled victims from the submerged bus after the accident on Sunday.

"It was difficult to get them out... from among the mangled metal bars," the official added.

Six dead in Peru bus crash
12 Aug 04 |  Americas
Country profile: Peru
30 Jun 04 |  Country profiles

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