LIMA – Search for 16 people missing was underway on Wednesday in Peru after a bridge they were on collapsed in a valley northwest of the mountain-top ruins of Machu Picchu.
The bridge, close to the village of Kimbiri, collapsed on Tuesday following hours of heavy seasonal rains in the southeastern region.
At least 30 people were walking across it at the time, the civil defense authority said. Fifteen of the people were saved and taken to hospital with injuries. But 16 plunged into the Kimbiri river and were swept away.
The bridge was built in 2015 and was closed to traffic for maintenance, according to local authorities in Kimbiri.
An army helicopter, navy launches and a fire brigade were searching for them, officials said.
Fire officers said the rains had greatly strengthened currents in the river.
The village is around 150 kilometers (95 miles) northwest of the Machu Picchu ruins.
Also on Wednesday, fifty-one people died in one of the deadliest vehicle accidents in the nation’s history.
Peru’s Health Ministry announced Wednesday that all the bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of the bus that plummeted 100m (330ft) down a cliff and landed upside down on a rocky beach.
The accident happened on a notorious stretch of road known as Curva del Diablo (devil’s bend) in Pasamayo, north of the capital Lima.
Six people had survived the accident, one of whom had jumped from the bus before it fell after colliding with a lorry.