Four tourists die in accident in Peru after visiting Machu Picchu

Four tourists died, including three Colombians, and another 16 were injured after visiting the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, when a minibus fell into an abyss on a route in Peru, authorities reported Monday.

The wounded are four French, two Greeks, two Israelis, two Canadians, two Argentines, two Peruvians, one Dutch and one Spanish, according to the official balance released in Cusco, where the famous stone citadel is located.

“We have four dead tourists […]after the fall of a truck [minibús] to an abyss of a little more than 100 meters,” said the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Roberto Sánchez, at a press conference in Cusco together with regional officials.

The Ministry specified in a statement that the deceased are “three of Colombian nationality and one of Peruvian nationality.”

Preliminarily, Sánchez had mentioned two Colombians among the deceased, since until that moment the nationality of the other two had not been confirmed.

The 16 injured were taken to two hospitals in Cusco, including the Peruvian driver of the minibus, authorities said.

The road accident occurred on Sunday night in the Abra Málaga area, about 105 km from the city of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire.

“The place of the accident was foggy. We regret this tragic event,” said Sánchez.

The white vehicle fell into the abyss after tourists visited Machu Picchu on Sunday, he added.

A plane from the Peruvian Air Force landed at the Cusco airport around 1:00 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT) to transfer some wounded to Lima, according to local media.

“We express our condolences to the relatives and governments of the unfortunately deceased foreign tourists,” the Peruvian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.

Accidents on Peruvian highways are frequent due to speeding, the poor condition of the routes, the lack of signage and the lack of control by the authorities.

On July 31, the fall of a truck into a 200-meter abyss left 16 dead, including children, on a remote rural road in the central region of Junín.

Some 5,000 national and foreign tourists visit Machu Picchu daily, built in the fifteenth century by the Inca emperor Pachacútec and considered the jewel of Peruvian tourism. YS

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