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
0

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.


11 people reported killed in gun attack at bar in Brazil

Policemen are seen at a site where, according to local media, an armed group entered and opened fire at a bar, killing and wounding its patrons, in Belem, Para state, Brazil May 19, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 45 min 33 sec ago
0

11 people reported killed in gun attack at bar in Brazil

  • Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics

RIO DE JANEIRO: A gang of gunmen roared up to a bar in Belem city in Brazil’s northern Pará state and opened fire, killing six women and five men Sunday afternoon, media reports said. State officials would confirm only that “a massacre” occurred but gave no details.
The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars.
A Pará state spokeswoman, Natalia Mello, said only: “A massacre is confirmed.” State communications officials stopped answering phone calls. Military and civil police in Pará state also did not answer phone calls or respond to emails.
In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belém to reinforce security in the city for 90 days.
Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics.
Much of Brazil’s violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down.
Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second biggest city, experiences daily shootouts between rival gangs and also between police and criminals, battles that often result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. Fogo Cruzado, a group that monitors shootings in the Rio metropolitan area, says there were 2,300 shootings in Rio and its suburbs during the first 100 days of this year.
Killings attributed to police gunfire in Rio de Janeiro state have reached a record high, rising 18% in the first three months, in a spike partly attributed to a campaign of a zero tolerance for criminals being pushed by state leaders.
One of new President Jair Bolsonaro’s main campaign promises was that he would loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws, arguing that because criminals are well-armed with illegally obtained guns, “upstanding citizens” should have the right to defend themselves with legally bought guns. Bolsonaro has made good on that campaign promise with two presidential decrees that make buying guns easier, though federal prosecutors are seeking to get the courts to block that move.