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Death toll climbs to 36 in Peruvian bus crash
Last Updated: 2018-01-03 07:36 | Xinhua
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Rescue personnel transfer an injured person of a bus accident in Pasamayo, north of Lima, capital of Peru, on Jan. 2, 2018. (Xinhua/ANDINA/Vidal Tarqui)

The death toll from a bus that plummeted off a steep cliff near Peru's ocean-side capital Lima on Tuesday has climbed to 36, local media reported.

"So far, the accident ... has left 36 people dead and seven injured, the Health Ministry confirmed," national news agency Andina said.

The bus was carrying some 50 passengers when it collided into an oncoming trailer truck around midday and skidded off the road about 48 kilometers north of Lima, in a location known as Pasamayo.

Officials said earlier that the trailer truck had invaded the wrong lane and was to blame for the accident.

Images of the crash site showed the wreckage of the bus landed upside down on rocky shoreline, some 100 meters below the highway.

The tragedy occurred at a dangerous turn in the road known as the "Devil's Curve."

Rescue workers were using a helicopter to retrieve the bodies and extract the injured, who have been taken to area hospitals.

Underscoring the complexity of the rescue effort, the news agency said only two bodies have been retrieved so far.

"Firefighters are using ... cutting gear to recover the other bodies that are trapped inside the bus, whose wheels are facing up and roof is caved in," the ministry said.

Passengers were headed to Lima and had boarded the bus in Huacho, some 150 kilometers north of the capital.

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