|Firefighters are pictured working at the scene of a deadly bus crash in Ecuador, in a photo released by the Quito fire brigade. — AFP/VNA Photo|Viet Nam News
QUITO — Colombia’s government said on Wednesday that 19 of the victims of a deadly bus crush in Ecuador were its citizens, as Quito lowered the overall death toll from the accident.
Ecuador’s foreign ministry said in a statement that 23 people were killed in the Tuesday crash, instead of 24 as previously announced.
Twelve Colombians, four Venezuelans and two Ecuadorans who died in the accident have been identified, the statement said.
The bus, which had foreign license plates, overturned and crashed into three houses after a collision with an all-terrain vehicle near Quito.
Ecuador transport colonel Julio Barba said the driver "probably overused the brakes... which produced an overheating of the brake system leading to a loss of control of the vehicle."
Colombia’s Transport Ministry had said on Tuesday that the bus was not authorised to carry tourists.
One of the two drivers, who was injured in the crash, has been arrested.
Traffic accidents are among the leading causes of death in Ecuador.
According to the watchdog group Justicia Vial, on average seven people are killed and some 80 people injured each day in traffic accidents.
And 96 per cent of those accidents are due to human error, according to the group’s figures.
On Sunday, 12 people were killed and 30 injured when a bus carrying fans of Barcelona SC, Ecuador’s most popular football club based in Guayaquil, ran off the highway and flipped. — AFP