LIMA, Peru (AP) -- An open-bed truck overcrowded with school children
and parents on a field trip plummeted off a cliff in Peru's northern Andes,
killing 26 and injuring 15.
Police said Friday that most of the dead were 11- and 12-year-old students
from Nueva Libertad, a village 465 miles north of Lima. Eight children were
in serious condition.
Deadly accidents are common in rural Peru, where people often travel in
aging cargo trucks on potholed mountain roads.
The truck's motor apparently failed as it climbed a steep mountainside
Thursday, causing the vehicle to roll backwards out of control before
plunging into a 330-foot ravine, said Isidro Castillo, 38, who saved himself
by leaping from the back of the truck.
Bodies were flung from the open-bed truck and and they fell down the
mountainside, police said. The vehicle had a capacity of 20 people but was
Police took hours to reach the remote accident site.
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.