Following truck-bus collision that killed at least 17Sunday, February 9, 2014
Ten remain hospitalized in Mendoza
Ten people remained hospitalized yesterday across Mendoza after the accident that killed at least 17 people and injured 14, when a long-distance bus collided head-on with a truck that was travelling the wrong way on National Route 7, some 45 kilometres from the provincial capital of Mendoza.
Mendoza officials confirmed yesterday that numerous calls were made to the 911 emergency phone service to report complaints regarding the truck that crashed. One of them was Sergio González, a driver who said he crashed into the truck, leading to the truck driver trying to fight with him
“I tried to pass him but he didn’t let me and he crashed my car. He got out to fight with me but he couldn’t stay standing because he was drunk,” González reported.
Nevertheless, the prosecutor of the cause Martín Scattareggi said yesterday he hadn’t been able yet to verify if the truck driver had been intoxicated at the moment of the crash because the body was charred after the truck exploded following the crash. The Brazilian police is reportedly working alongside Scattareggi to identify the driver.
Even though the number was not divulged, several police officers were fired yesterday by the Security Minister for considering they hadn’t appropriately responded to the 911 calls. Police officers that work at a police station are also under investigation for not taking in consideration González’s statement.
The final count on the number of victims of the accident couldn’t be done by the government yet due to the severe burns the bodies suffered after the accident. The Coroner’s Unit said to be currently working on the DNA analysis of the victims in order to compare them with the blood samples taken from relatives.
“We have a list of the passengers that were on the bus and the list of people that remain hospitalized. By comparing both, we can have an estimate on the number of people killed but not the final number,” Police Chief of Mendoza Juan Carlos Caleri said.
A total of 28 passengers were travelling on the bus as well as two drivers, of whom at least 16 died. Thirteen died at the scene while another died in a rescue helicopter and the others reportedly died in the hospital.
Herald with Télam,DyN