Nine Killed, Scores Injured in Peru Bridge Collapse
    2009-04-14 17:53:32     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
 
At least seven children and two teachers were killed and more than 50 others were injured when a bridge they were crossing collapsed, local media reports said Monday.

Local health department officials were quoted as saying that the bridge over the Santa Barbara river, in southern Peru's Ayacucho province, "broke in two" as students and teachers from four rural schools were crossing it while going home.

Fernando Valencia, a surgeon with a local hospital confirmed in reports that the death toll had risen to nine.

The accident also injured 53 others, most of whom were children between the ages of 10 and 13, Valencia said. Fourteen of the victims were in critical condition.

Local police said the 120-meter bridge, made of wooden boards and slats held together by steel cables, collapsed because too many people were on it.

Bad weather hampered rescue efforts. Two rescue helicopters offered by a private company were unable to land in the area because of fog, reports said.
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