At least 50 people died and other 20 became badly wounded after a bus crowded with pilgrims fell down into a deep gorge in the Northern province of Catamarca, Sunday night. The accident took place in the Andean region of the Totoral Heights and, according to police reports, was caused by a failure in vehicle breaks before reaching a dangerous part of the road.
As per witness comments, the road is in very bad conditions due to the permanent transit of heavy trucks and lack of maintenance. "The driver lost control of the bus and fell into the precipice. It was a big van and it is now completely destroyed", expressed to the press Mr. Julio Diaz, sub - secretary of security of the neighbouring province of Tucuman, where all the victims belonged.
The majority of the passengers departed from Tucuman in a pilgrimage to Catamarca to pray to the Virgen del Valle, one of the most popular Madonnas in the region. All of them were coming back to their homes when the accident happened.
Rescue teams kept on their efforts to rescue the injured people and remove the bodies from the gorge. In turn, local provincial authorities decreed a two days mourning in honor of the victims.
It is the worst-ever accident of this kind in the history of Catamarca, one of Argentina's poorest provinces, located 1,100 miles Northwest of Buenos Aires.