Ecuador: Death toll 38 in crash of jam-packed bus

Associated Press
Policemen and firefighters carry the body of a passenger after a bus plunged into a ravine in San Isidro, southwest of Quito, Ecuador, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010. At least 35 people were killed and 32 were reported injured in the accident. (AP Photo/Str)
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Policemen and firefighters carry the body of a passenger after a bus plunged into a ravine in San Isidro, southwest of Quito, Ecuador, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010. At least 35 people were killed and 32 were reported injured in the accident.

Ecuadorean officials say the death toll is now 38 from the crash of an overcrowded bus that plunged into a 1,100-foot (350-meter) ravine.

A government statement says the number of injured has also risen, to 46.

Some of the injuries are grave, and the number of dead could increase further.

The bus ran off a foggy, rainy mountain road Friday and rolled about 650 feet (200 meters) downhill before a tree stopped its fall.

Disaster agency official Paul Sanchez said Saturday that the vehicle had a capacity of 45, but 84 were on board, including the driver. There was also cargo such as a refrigerator.

Authorities closed down the bus company's operations pending an investigation.

The driver was among the dead.

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