Peru bus dives off mountain road, at least 33 dead

LIMA -- A bus plunged 1,640 feet (500 meters) off an Andean mountain highway in heavy rain on Saturday, killing at least 33 people and injuring 23, police said.

Six children were among the dead in the accident in the northern district of Chota, Cajamarca province, authorities told local radio.

"We've rescued the bodies of 30 people and three more died after being taken to the hospital in grave condition," police captain Jose Cotillo told Peruvian radio station RPP.

The number of highway accidents in Peru has shot up in the last year despite a government plan to crack down on dilapidated buses and underqualified drivers.

(Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Hilary Burke)