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Death toll climbs to 17 in bus crash in S. Mexico

Updated: 05 23 , 2017 14:19
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MEXICO CITY, May 22 -- The death toll from a bus accident in south Mexico's state of Chiapas has climbed to 17, local officials said on Monday.

Some 31 passengers were injured when the bus plunged off a cliff on Sunday, and fell 90 meters into a gorge.

"So far, 17 people have regrettably lost their lives," the state's Secretariat of Civil Protection said in a statement.

Preliminary reports from officials in the town of Motozintla de Mendoza said the bus carrying pilgrims on their return trip veered off a stretch of highway between Motozintla and Huixtla, near the border with Guatemala.

Luis Manuel Garcia, head of the Civil Protection Secretariat, said the accident appeared to have been caused by a mechanical failure.

The pilgrims were reportedly Seventh-Day Adventists returning from a spiritual retreat along the Chiapas coast.

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