At least 41 people are dead, including children, after a bus plummeted off a cliff in rural Guatemala, Guatemala's General Department of Transportation confirmed.
The bus plunged some 650 feet into a river at the bottom of a ravine, officials said.
Rescue workers said that the bus, which drove off of a paved highway roughly 40 miles northwest of Guatemala City, was completely destroyed and that 40 people had been taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for injuries. Authorities have also set up a mobile morgue.
Investigators do not yet know what caused the crash or what was the final destination of the bus, which was traveling south toward Guatemala City. Rescue workers said that conditions were dry and mostly sunny and that the bus was likely over capacity.
"The bus was probably traveling with too many people,” volunteer firefighter spokesman Williams de Leon told Reuters.
The bus is part of a routine inter-city bus service. All passengers on board are believed to be Guatemalan.
Reuters contributed to this report.
First published September 9 2013, 11:19 AM