Passenger Bus Plunges Off Highway in Honduras, Killing More Than 20

A passenger bus plunged off a highway and rolled 500 meters down a hillside in western Honduras on Tuesday, killing at least 23 people and injuring 19 others, authorities reported.

Emergency personnel worked to free people from the twisted wreckage near the border with El Salvador.

"This is a terrible tragedy that will cause mourning in a lot of poor families," Carlos Cordero, the head of the national firefighters force, said in a telephone interview. "We are making superhuman efforts to rescue survivors."

The dead included at least three children and 8 women, all thrown from the bus by the force of the crash, and several of the injured were in serious condition, Cordero said.

The accident happened on a stretch of highway so high and treacherous that it is known as "El Vuelo del Angel," The Angel's Flight. Investigators said mechanical problems may have played a role in the crash.