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51 dead after vehicle plunges off road in Peruvian highlands

October 12, 2013|By Richard Fausset
  • Bodies of victims lie under plastic sheets after they were recovered from a cliff near the town of Santa Teresa, Cuzco province, Peru.
Bodies of victims lie under plastic sheets after they were recovered from… (AP Photo )

MEXICO CITY — Fifty-one people, including 14 children, were killed when a vehicle plunged off of a mountain road in southeast Peru and fell more than 650 feet, local news media reported.

According to the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, the vehicle was packed with revelers from a party Friday night  when it left the city of Santa Teresa, in the Cuscu region. [Link in Spanish.]

No one in the vehicle was believed to have survived, and authorities are investigating whether the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol at the time, the newspaper reported.

Crashes are common on the treacherous winding mountain roads of the Peruvian highands. According to the Associated Press, more than 4,000 people died in such accidents last year.

“With deep regret, I extend my condolences, and those of my wife Nadine and my children, to our brothers from Cusco, for the irreparable loss,” Peruvian President Ollanta Humala wrote on his Twitter account Saturday evening. 


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Twitter: @richardfausset

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