In the second deadly bus accident in two days in Ecuador, 24 people were killed and another 19 injured when a bus careened into another vehicle at high speed and overturned on a highway east of Quito.
On Sunday, 12 people died and 30 were injured when a bus crashed into a bridge abutment west of Cuenca. The bus carried football fans returning from Cuenca to Guayaquil.
In Monday’s accident, a Colombian-registered bus hit a smaller vehicle on the Pifo-Papallacta highway in an area known as “dead man’s curve” at about 3 a.m.
Quito district security secretary Juan Zapata told Colombia’s Blu Radio that most of the victims were Colombian and Venezuelan nationals although seven Ecuadorians were listed among the dead.
Two Ecuadorians minors traveling in the smaller vehicle were also killed.
A fleet of ambulances and first responders rushed to the crash site about two hours from Quito before dawn. They found the mangled bus overturned and several homes adjacent to the highway damaged and strewn with metal debris.
On Tuesday morning, the Ecuadorian government fired several police and immigration employees for allowing the bus to cross the border. According to officials, the bus was not authorized to travel in Ecuador and did not have licenses plates.