At least 20 people were killed and 10 others injured Monday when a bus ran off the road and struck a tree in the central state of Miranda, Venezuelan authorities said.
“Up to now we have the unfortunate number of 20 people killed and 10 people injured - we’re waiting for the list identifying these people,” the emergency management services director of Miranda, Victor Lira, said on Union Radio.
Lira said the accident occurred around 4:30 a.m. when the driver of the bus coming from the western city of Barquisimeto lost control and “hit the highway’s dividing strip and then collided with a fixed object, a tree,” for causes as yet unknown.
He said that fire rescue personnel worked from the early hours of the morning at the scene of the accident, located according to media accounts on the expressway between Caracas and Valencia, to free a number of people who were trapped in the wreckage.
Traffic remained blocked for several hours on the expressway, Venezuela’s main east-west route.
This was one of the worst accidents to occur in Venezuela, where a number of collisions with multiple fatalities have taken place in recent years.
In July 2013, 16 people died and 33 were injured when a truck and a bus crashed in the central state of Guarico, while in April 2012 a collision of buses near the eastern city of Barcelona left 14 dead and 22 injured.