Bus Plunges into Ravine in Ecuador; 38 Dead

Policemen and firefighters carry the body of a passenger after a bus plunged into a ravine in San Isidro, southwest of Quito, Ecuador, Dec. 24, 2010.
AP Photo
QUITO, Ecuador - Ecuadorean officials say the death toll is now 38 from the crash of an overcrowded bus that plunged into a 1,100-foot (350-meter) ravine.

A government statement says the number of injured has also risen, to 46.

Some of the injuries are grave, and the number of dead could increase further.

The bus ran off a foggy, rainy mountain road Friday and rolled about 650 feet (200 meters) downhill before a tree stopped its fall.

Disaster agency official Paul Sanchez said Saturday that the vehicle had a capacity of 45, but 84 were on board, including the driver. There was also cargo such as a refrigerator.

Authorities closed down the bus company's operations pending an investigation.

The driver was among the dead.