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Bus crash in Peru leaves 24 dead, official says

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: The bus plunged more than 800 feet into a ravine
  • NEW: 27 people were injured and taken to local hospitals
  • NEW: Official says the driver lost control of the overcrowded bus
  • A bus from the same company was involved in a deadly accident in May

(CNN) -- Authorities in northwestern Peru have identified the 24 people who died Tuesday when a bus plunged into a ravine, the state news agency reported Wednesday.

Twenty-two people died at the scene and another two died on the way to a hospital in the city of Trujillo, said provincial official Kyra Orcheff. Four of the victims were children, she said, according to the government's Andina news agency.

Twenty-seven people were injured and taken to area hospitals, Andina said.

The bus driver, identified as Andres Zavaleta, was being treated at the Clínica Peruano-Americana in the city of Trujillo, Andina said.

Zavaleta lost control and the bus plunged more than 820 feet (250 meters), Orcheff said, according to Andina.

The bus was transporting more than 50 people but had a limit of 33 passengers, Orcheff said.

The vehicle was operated by the Kurrungo bus company, the news agency said.

The accident occurred in the remote Gran Chimu Province, also the site of a May 30 bus crash that killed 23 people. That bus also was operated by the Kurrungo company, Andina said.

In an unrelated development, a bus driver involved in a February 22 wreck that killed 38 people was sent to prison Tuesday on homicide charges, Andina said. That bus was operated by the American Express company, the news agency said. Andina identified the driver as Denis Ponce Aznaran.