19 dead, 32 injured after pilgrimage bus crash in Mexico
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MEXICO CITY (AP) – Nineteen people died and 32 others were injured after a bus apparently carrying pilgrims to a religious site in central Mexico crashed on Friday.
State officials said the bus apparently lost its brakes and crashed into a building in the state of Mexico. Six of the victims sustained injuries so severe that they were airlifted to hospital in Toluca, the state capital.
Ricardo de la Cruz, assistant secretary of state for the interior, said the accident occurred in the township of Joquicingo, southwest of Mexico City.
The bus traveled from the western state of Michoacan to Chalma, a town visited by Roman Catholic pilgrims for centuries.
There was no immediate information on the condition of the injured passengers. Many Mexicans go on religious pilgrimage as December 12 approaches, the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Because they often walk or cycle on narrow roads or travel in aging buses, accidents are not uncommon. The State of Mexico borders Mexico City on three sides and includes both isolated rural villages and overcrowded suburbs of the capital.
Chalma was a sacred site in pre-Hispanic times before the conquest of 1521. After the arrival of the Spaniards, believers say, a cross miraculously appeared in a cave that had been dedicated to an Aztec god, making Chalma a place of Christian pilgrimage.
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