MEX1786. BARRANCA BLANCA (MEXICO), 03/08/2023.- Combination of aerial photos showing the accident site in Mexico's western Nayarit state where a passenger bus went off the highway, killing at least 17 and injuring 22, on Aug. 3, 2023. EFE/Civil Protection and Security Secretariat of Nayarit/EDITORIAL USE ONLY/ AVAILABLE ONLY TO ILLUSTRATE THE ACCOMPANYING ARTICLE (OBLIGATORY CREDIT).

At least 17 dead, 22 injured in Mexico highway accident

Mexico City, Aug 3 (EFE).- At least 17 people – including five foreigners – died and 22 were injured Thursday when a passenger bus went off the road and into a ravine on a highway in the western Mexican state of Nayarit.

The incident occurred on the Northern Bypass of Tepic, the state capital, at Kilometer 26+500 near the town of Barranca Blanca, the Nayarit Civil Protection State Coordinator said in a statement.

The passenger bus, which was traveling to the city of Tijuana slid off the highway and plunged into a ravine, authorities said.

According to what authorities told local media outlets, among the dead are three people from India, one from the Dominican Republic and another whose country of origin was not immediately known.

“Personnel from the Civil Protection and Security Secretariat and the State Police and Firefighters of Nayarit, SEDENA (the National Defense Secretariat), the National Guard, the Investigation Agency within the State Prosecutor’s Office and Grupo AMEC removed 14 adults and three minors showing no vital signs (from the wreckage),” Nayarit authorities said in a statement.

State public safety secretariat also said that 22 people, apparently including at least one bus driver and other transportation personnel, were transported to health care facilities and just one person on board the bus was uninjured in the crash.

Also reportedly dispatched to the scene were Mexican Red Cross personnel to carry out “immediate response action to attend to the people who were traveling in the vehicle.”

Meanwhile, Nayarit Gov. Miguel Angel Navarro said that he is already working with the Mexican federal government to carry out the corresponding duties and obligations in the aftermath of the accident.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives. We will continue to care for the people affected by this incident for as long as it takes for them to recover their health,” the governor said on his social network accounts.

Highway accidents have acquired notoriety this year in Mexico, with at least 29 people dying last month in the southern state of Oaxaca when a passenger bus rolled over.

An average of 40 people die each day in Mexico inroad accidents and the number of people injured in such incidents rose by 28 percent in 2022, one of the deadliest years in the country’s history for such fatalities, according to the latest report by the Mexican office of the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global non-profit research organization.

EFE –/bp