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Bus Skids Into Mexico City Lake; 39 Killed

November 14, 1987|Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A city bus crowded with students and workers skidded off a dirt road in heavy fog Friday morning and tumbled into a small lake, killing 39 people and injuring five, authorities said.

Federal police spokeswoman Carmen Gutierrez Zamora said 18 passengers escaped injury in the crash on the city's southern edge in the district of Tlahuac.

She said that most of the victims were on their way to work or to nearby high schools "when the bus tumbled and landed upside down" in the muddy, shallow San Miguel de Xico lagoon adjoining the road.

It took divers and other rescuers nearly six hours to complete the rescue and salvage operation.

'Completely Fogged In'

"From what survivors said, the road was completely fogged in and visibility was very poor, and apparently the driver lost control of the vehicle," Gutierrez Zamora said.

Dist. Atty. David Castillo, who is investigating the accident, said survivors told him the crash occurred about 6:30 a.m.

"The bus was full and some passengers were riding or hanging out on the doorstep," Castillo said. "The bus was apparently going excessively fast and in dense fog hit a bump or hole, and the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle."

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the government-owned bus company claimed that the accident was chiefly caused by a front tire blowout, with the fog and poor road conditions contributing.

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