26 September 1998
 Open-bed truck crowded with school children goes off cliff, 26 dead

                  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
                  carrying 41.

                  Police took hours to reach the remote accident site.

                  Copyright 1998   The Associated Press.