Peru Pasamayo coach crash: 50 bodies recovered

Relatives of the victims were consoled by friends outside the morgue. Photo: REUTERS

 

The parents of a woman who was travelling on a coach which plunged down a 100m high (330ft) cliff in Peru have urged rescue workers to continue searching for their daughter’s body.

The body of Indira Alexandra Díaz Pasache, 21, is thought to be trapped underneath the wreckage of the coach.

Six people survived Tuesday’s accident. One of them by jumping out of a window seconds before the coach fell.

The man clung on to the cliff side with a broken arm before clambering up.

A video published on Twitter by Peruvian news channel ATV+ showed the 21-year-old hanging onto the cliff while people tell him to “stay put” and not to move until help arrives.

Máximo Jiménez Vilcayaure managed to climb up the cliff after a rope was lowered to him. The footage shows him walking away with a limp.

Doctors said he later checked himself into hospital “after getting there by his own means”, where he was treated for a broken arm.

‘Birthday trip’

The coach was carrying 55 passengers plus the driver and an assistant. While emergency workers said they had located 51 bodies, only 50 have so far been taken to the local morgue.

Ms Díaz Pasache’s father urged the authorities to deploy a crane to lift the wrecked coach so his daughter’s body can be recovered.

Her mother said the young woman had travelled to the city of Huacho from her hometown of Lima with five friends to celebrate her birthday.

Ms Díaz Pasache spoke to her mother just minutes before boarding the coach back to Lima on Tuesday morning, telling her she wanted to get home early to rest before returning to work at a construction firm on Wednesday.

One of her friends was among the six people who survived the accident, local media reported.

Devil’s bend

The coach was travelling along a notoriously dangerous stretch of road known as Curva del Diablo (devil’s bend) in Pasamayo when it came off the road and plunged down the cliff.

Peruvian police said its preliminary investigations suggested that a lorry was involved in the accident.

They said that one of the two vehicles had veered into the path of the other. The driver of the lorry has been detained.

On Tuesday, Peru’s Minister of Transport Bruno Giuffra tweeted that initial reports indicated that both vehicles had been travelling at excessive speed.

The Serpentín Pasamayo, as the stretch of road running alongside the Pacific Ocean is known, is considered one of the most dangerous in Peru.

It has no barriers separating it from a sheer drop to the ocean and the sea spray and frequent fog can make it particularly slippery.

On Wednesday, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said he had given instructions to widen an alternative route, so that the Serpentín Pasamayo can be closed.

In the meantime, coaches would be banned from using the Serpentín Pasamayo, Minister Giuffra announced.

Source :

BBC

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