TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – A bus with failing brakes slammed into the back of another bus on the outskirts of the Honduran capital, killing 15 people and injuring more than 24, authorities said Tuesday.
The driver of the malfunctioning bus asked passengers to pray before he crashed into the other vehicle, pushing it some 500 feet down the road, Transit Police Inspector Rene Maradiaga said.
There were more than 100 people on the two buses before the Monday crash, officials said. The second bus was picking up passengers when it was struck.
Rescue officials spent four hours pulling victims from the tangled metal.
Ten people died on the scene, and five more died at a hospital. Three children between the ages of 3 and 7 were among the dead.
The former schoolbuses were made in the United States in the 1950s and brought to Honduras in the 1970s to be used as passenger buses.
Police said they are investigating both drivers, and the bus companies' maintenance of the vehicles.
The driver of the bus with failed brakes, Mariano Alvarado, was trapped in the wreckage for two hours before he was rescued and hospitalized in serious condition, officials said. The other driver, Jose Barahona, 24, was uninjured.