Photo: Scene of the accident (LiberdadeNews)
At least 10 people died and 20 others were injured Wednesday when the bus they were riding in flipped over on a highway in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, the Federal Highway Police reported.
The accident occurred about 5:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on a curve on federal highway BR-101, one of the main north-south coastal routes, near the town of Teixeira de Freitas.
Nine of the victims died at the crash site and the 10th succumbed later at a hospital in Teixeira de Freitas, where the injured were taken.
Among the dead was the driver of the vehicle, identified as Mauricio de Souza.
The bus, belonging to the Aguia Branca public transportation company and carrying 31 passengers, had departed on Tuesday night from Vitoria, the capital of the neighboring state of Espiritu Santo, and it was en route to Itamaraju, a municipality in southern Bahia, at the time of the crash.
According to the highway police, the bus driver lost control of the vehicle as it was negotiating a high-risk curve and the bus went off the road and ended up upside down in a ditch 4 meters (13 feet) deep.
The firm said the vehicle was equipped with GPS and a security videocamera and analysis of those records may help to determine the cause of the accident, adding that the bus was not exceeding the speed limit.
The company also said that the driver had more than three years of experience with highway driving and had not had any accidents to date, but it did not rule out that he could have fallen asleep at the wheel.
The police said that fog is common in the area of the accident at this time of year.