updated 1/15/2007 10:16:04 PM ET 2007-01-16T03:16:04

A head-on collision between a bus filled with vacationers and a tractor-trailer left 20 people dead and four injured Monday in northern Colombia, authorities said.

"It looks like the truck, because of a mechanical failure, crossed into the path of the bus carrying passengers who were traveling to the province of Antioquia from the tourist port of Santa Marta," said traffic police Deputy Director Col. Luis Alberto Perez.

The force of the crash threw the bus from the highway in to a nearby ditch.

The crash occurred near the town of Bosconia, some 570 kilometers (360 miles) north of Bogota, along the highway that connects the Caribbean coast with the interior of the country.

Millions of Colombians have been traveling across the country in the past few days as the Christmas vacations come to an end.

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