10 Sep 2013

Bus crash in Guatemala, 43 dead

9:50 am on 10 September 2013

At least 43 people have been killed and 40 others injured after a bus carrying scores of passengers plunged down a steep cliff in western Guatemala.

Fire department spokesman Cecilio Chacaj said the bus fell 70ms to the ground after careening off the road in the municipality of San Martin Jilotepeque, 64kms west of the capital.

Local residents who rushed to the scene of the crash volunteered to help rescuers pull victims stuck in the wreckage, Mr Chacaj said.

Forty people were confirmed dead at the site of the accident and three more at the hospital, the ABC reports.

Some victims were taken to hospitals in Guatemala City, while others were treated at local hospitals.

The bus had left from the western province of Chimaltenango on its way to San Martin Jilotepeque.

Local television said many of those on the bus were vendors taking farm produce to market.