Tuesday 29 December 2009

Bus crashes

A bus carrying farmers and traders home for Christmas has plunged 250 feet into a ravine in the Peruvian Andes, killing at least 42 people. They were travelling between Arequipa, Peru's elegant second largest city, and the town of Santo Tomas.

The accident happened in an area that was so remote that the nearest village did not have a doctor. A local schoolteacher said the road was potholed and in poor condition, but investigators will also be looking at whether a mechanical fault or recent rains might be a factor.

Back in 1995, 110 people are said to have been killed when a tanker carrying liquid benzene collided with a bus on the outskirts of Sriperumbudur in India’s Tamil Nadu state. If this figure is correct, this would probably be the worst bus crash in history.

Better documented is the accident in 2003 in which a coach drove into a reservoir near the town of Bethlehem in South Africa, killing 80. This too happened in a remote area, and it seems that the driver lost his way in the dark and found himself driving along a jetty towards the water. By the time he realised his mistake he was going too fast to stop.

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