August 29, 2010 / 9:04 PM / 9 years ago

Ecuador bus crash kills 38 in highlands, 12 hurt

An Ecuadorian worker ties a cord on the debris of a bus in Latacunga, 70 km (43.5 miles) south of Quito August 29, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

QUITO (Reuters) - A bus winding its way through Ecuador’s highlands towards the capital of Quito went off the road before dawn Sunday, killing 38 passengers in the worst accident of this kind in the country in years.

Authorities said 12 more people were injured in the crash. Local television showed rescue workers struggling to extract bodies and look for survivors on the steep cliffs around Lake Yambo in the central province of Cotopaxi where the accident occurred.

The bus had started its journey in the southern colonial city of Cuenca in Azuay province.

“We are analyzing the causes of the accident,” Ecuador’s chief traffic accident investigator Wilson Pavon told reporters.

Local TV showed rescue workers extracting a tiny baby from the wreckage. It was unclear if the child was still alive.

Reporting by Santiago Silva, writing by Hugh Bronstein

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