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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Honduras Reels After 2 Buses Crash, Killing 17

The accident occurred at dawn near the community of San Juan de Opoa, on the highway leading from Santa Rosa de Copán to the municipality of Gracias, about 220 km northwest of Tegucigalpa. “Here at the site there are 15 fatalities, 14 injured were taken to the Occidental Hospital [in Santa Rosa de Copán] and of the 14 we have confirmed that two died,” said firefighter captain Abdul Orellana.

Initially, the officer had told the press that there were “15 to 16 dead,” but clarified that it was “preliminary information.”

According to the firefighter, one of the buses was traveling without passengers towards the center of the country after dropping off migrants at the border with Guatemala and the other, full of people, was heading towards Santa Rosa de Copán.

The empty bus was bigger than the one carrying passengers. The injured were taken to the Santa Rosa de Copán hospital. “The driver of the large bus was trapped, [now] we are taking him to the Occidente hospital,” a police officer who identified himself as Officer García said at the site.

In the accident area there are pine mountains and the route, with one lane in each direction, has many curves, as well as ups and downs. Traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death in Honduras, after homicides, according to official figures.

President’s condolences

According to local media, all the victims are Honduran and lived in the area. Relatives crowded the scene of the accident and some burst into tears when identifying their deceased relatives.

“With deep dismay and pain, I receive the tragic news of the accident in San Juan de Opoa, [department of] Copán. My condolences to the families of the victims and solidarity for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Honduran President Xiomara Castro published on the X network.

“I have instructed the relevant teams and agencies to provide all the support in this difficult time,” added the president. Thousands of migrants from South America cross Honduran territory every day on a long route to the United States in search of better living conditions.

In October last year, four migrants died when a bus plunged into a ravine.

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