March 13, 2002

35 killed in Peruvian bus crash

                 LIMA, Peru (Reuters) -- Some 35 people were killed early on Wednesday
                 when a bus crashed into a gas station on a major Peruvian highway and burst
                 into flames, firefighters said.

                 "We have counted 35 burned bodies," a firefighter spokesman from the coastal city
                 of Chincha, 120 miles (200 km) south of the capital Lima, told Reuters.

                 Six people were injured, two seriously, police said.

                 The bus, traveling from the mountain city of Ayacucho, ran into the service station
                 around 4 a.m. local time (0900 GMT) on Peru's main north-south highway, the
                 authorities said, adding that they believed the driver had fallen asleep.

                 The Lima-bound bus had 48 passengers on board, a firefighter spokesman said.

                 "We are still working to remove the wreckage," the firefighter spokesman said.

                    Copyright 2002 Reuters.