36 die as Ecuadorean bus runs off road, overturns

August 30, 2010 01:55


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QUITO, Ecuador – A bus ran off a highway and overturned on Sunday, killing at least 36 people, Ecuadorean officials said. At least 12 others were badly hurt.

The bus was on a straight, well-paved strip of highway about 55 miles (95 kilometers) south of its destination, Quito, when the accident occurred at 3:20 a.m. (4:20 EDT; 0820 GMT), police said.

"It seems like the driver fell asleep," said transit police spokesman Juan Zapata, though the cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police said that driver Luis Mogrovejo, who died in the accident, had been at the wheel for at least seven hours.

Silvia Zumba of the Latacunga police department said the bus from the Turismo Oriental line had left the city of Cuenca with about 30 passengers and had picked up others along the way.

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