Twenty-one people died yesterday after they were trapped inside a burning bus on the Mexico-Tuxpan highway, while two more — passengers in the vehicle which collided with the bus — died instantly, according to AP.
Witnesses said 15 people were able to escape the fire, some exiting through the windows. But the rest remained trapped inside because emergency exits did not work.
The fire broke out after a spark ignited diesel leaking from the fuel tank, which was ruptured in the collision.
The fully-loaded bus, belonging to Verdes Plus, was en route to the city of Puebla from Poza Rica en Veracruz when it was struck by a compact car about 7:00 pm in the municipality of Jalpan in Puebla.
The bus passengers who escaped suffered serious injuries, according to reports this morning, and were transferred to a hospital in La Ceiba.
Witnesses said victims trapped inside the bus screamed for help until they were overcome by the flames.
A 5.5-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico’s Pacific resort of Acapulco, prompting tourists to evacuate hotels and causing buildings to sway as far away as Mexico City, reported AFP.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries either in Acapulco or in the country’s mega-capital, some 380 kilometers north of the southwestern port.
The earthquake struck at 14:41 pm (local time) yesterday in the state of Guerrero, 34 kilometers northwest of the town of San Luis Acatlan and 257 kilometers south of Mexico City, according to the US Geological Survey.
The onshore earthquake had a depth of 37.9 kilometers.
Buildings in Mexico City were also evacuated, as the capital’s residents have an alarm system that warns them when the earth shakes on the coast.