Bus crash in Ecuador kills 24 people, injures 19

Firefighters stand next to the wreckage of a Colombian-registered bus, which was traveling to the Ecuadorean capital of Quito when it hit a smaller vehicle in an area known as dead man’s curve. (Reuters)
Updated 14 August 2018
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Bus crash in Ecuador kills 24 people, injures 19

  • First responders found the severely wrecked bus overturned and several homes adjacent to the highway were damaged and strewn with metal debris
  • On Sunday, 12 people were killed and another 30 injured when a bus carrying fans of the Ecuadorean soccer team Barcelona SC overturned on a highway after a game

QUITO, Ecuador: At least 24 people were killed and another 19 injured when a bus careened into another vehicle at high speed and overturned on a highway near Ecuador’s capital Tuesday, officials reported.
The Colombian-registered bus was traveling to Quito when it hit a smaller vehicle in an area known as dead man’s curve at about 3 a.m., Ecuadorean authorities said.
Col. Wilson Pavon, head of Ecuador’s transit police, said the majority of the passengers aboard were Colombians, but that Venezuelans were also among the dead. Three people, including two minors traveling in the smaller vehicle were also killed.
A small fleet of ambulances and first responders rushed to the crash site about two hours from Quito before dawn. They found the severely wrecked bus overturned and several homes adjacent to the highway damaged and strewn with metal debris.
It’s the second highway tragedy in less than three days in Ecuador.
On Sunday, 12 people were killed and another 30 injured when a bus carrying fans of the Ecuadorean soccer team Barcelona SC overturned on a highway after a game. Late Monday, relatives of the victims bid farewell to their loved ones at a collective wake held at Barcelona’s stadium in Guayaquil.
Police were still investigating the causes of the earlier crash, but some eyewitnesses told local media that the bus carrying members of the Sur Oscura fan club that accompanies Barcelona to all its away games was seen trying to overtake other vehicles shortly before the crash.
On average, 13 people die each day on Ecuador’s roadways, according to the highway safety organization Road Justice, adding that roughly 95 percent are due to human error.


‘Key issues unresolved’, UN chief warns climate talks

Updated 3 min 41 sec ago
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‘Key issues unresolved’, UN chief warns climate talks

KATOWICE, Poland: “Key political issues” deadlocking UN climate talks “remain unresolved,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday after an unscheduled stop at the troubled negotiations in Poland.
The fight against climate change is a “matter of life and death today,” he told ministers and delegates at the 195-nation UN forum tasked with beating back the threat of global warming, barely 48 hours before the meet in the coal town of Katowice was set to adjourn.
The two-week talks are tasked with breathing life into the 2015 Paris Agreement, which vows to cap global warming at “well under” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to poor countries already feeling the sting of deadly storms, heatwaves and droughts made worse by climate change.
But efforts to elaborate a “rule book” for the Paris pact and to boost the carbon-cutting pledges of all nations have run aground, even as a barrage of scientific reports have warned that only immediate and radical measures can avert catastrophic climate impacts.
“The eyes of the world are upon us,” said Guterres, who had not planned to return to the talks after addressing the opening plenary 10 days ago.
“To waste this opportunity would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change,” he said.
“It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.”
A major report called for by the UN climate body concluded in October that Earth’s rise in temperature must be capped even lower — at 1.5C — to avoid the danger of runaway warming.
But several countries at the talks, led by the United States and Saudi Arabia, have blocked efforts to endorse the report, which many developing countries see as essential.
“The IPCC report on 1.5C is the basis for all future action, on what we need to do,” Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu told AFP.
Endorsing the report’s findings at the conclusion of the UN forum “is a red line issue for us.”