Ecuador bus crash outside Quito kills 24, injures 19: officials

Tuesday's crash is the second highway tragedy in less than three days in the country.

    The bus collided with another vehicle at high speed and overturned early [Handout/Fire Brigade of Quito/AFP]
    The bus collided with another vehicle at high speed and overturned early [Handout/Fire Brigade of Quito/AFP]

    At least 24 people have been killed and 19 others injured in a bus crash outside Ecuador's capital Quito, emergency services said. 

    The bus, which had foreign license plates, was on a downward stretch of highway 30km east of Quito early on Sunday when it struck an all-terrain vehicle and overturned, slamming into three houses on the side of the road, officials said.

    The dead included an unspecified number of Venezuelans and Colombians, they added. Embassies were notified of the accident. 

    "Most of the victims were Colombians," said Juan Zapata, security secretary for the capital city. 

    Three Ecuadorans in the all-terrain vehicle were also among the dead, said Christian Rivera, the head of Quito's emergency operations committee. Three children were also killed, officials said. 

    Firefighters and rescuers work at the scene of an accident [Handout/Fire Brigade of Quito/AFP]

    Tuesday's crash is the second highway tragedy in less than three days in Ecuador.

    On Sunday, 12 people were killed and 30 injured when a bus carrying fans of Barcelona SC, Ecuador's most popular football club, ran off the highway and flipped. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. 

    Traffic accidents are among the leading causes of death in the country. According to the watchdog group Justicia Vial, seven people are killed and some 80 people are injured on average each day in traffic accidents.

    About 96 percent of those accidents are due to human error, according to the group's figures.

    Relatives mourn over the coffin of a football fan killed in a bus crash at the Isidro Romero soccer stadium in Guayaquil on Sunday[Jose Sanchez/AP Photo] 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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