Photo: Bus Crash Guatemala
A bus accident Monday in western Guatemala left 43 people dead and 40 injured, authorities said.
Forty passengers were pronounced dead at the scene and three others died at nearby hospitals, the spokesman for the Chimaltenango provincial fire rescue department, Cecilio Chacaj, told Efe by telephone.
Authorities set up a makeshift morgue at the accident scene in the San Martin Jilotepeque district, some 64 kilometers (40 miles) from the Guatemalan capital.
The bus, which was overloaded, ran off the road and plunged 75 meters (245 feet) to the bottom of a ravine, Chacaj said.
Most of the passengers were indigenous peasants bringing their products to market.
The dead include 10 women and eight children, three of them infants, first responders said.
Some of the fatalities were found crushed inside the bus, while others were ejected from the vehicle by the force of the impact, firefighter Sergio Vasquez told radio stations.
Authorities suspect the accident may have been caused by a combination of faulty brakes and excessive speed.