RIO DE JANEIRO — At least 31 people died Saturday and 50 were seriously hurt when a rural highway caved in and two crowded buses tumbled into a 100-foot hole, rescue officials said.
The accident occurred near the rural town of Estancia, about 1,150 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro.
The buses, each jammed with 48 travelers, were making the 56-hour, 2,030-mile trek from the southeastern city of Sao Paulo to Natal, federal police officer Luis Fernando Borges Santos said.
"They were riding along a high ridge when the road simply gave way beneath them," said Borges Santos, who assisted rescue workers at the scene. "A hole the diameter of two buses opened up and sucked them down the drop. It's pitch black out on that highway--the drivers probably never saw a thing."
One driver was killed but the other was pulled alive from the wreckage, Santos said.