LA PAZ  - A bus hurtled off a cliff on a winding mountain road on the eastern slopes of the Andes, killing 15 people and injuring 20, Bolivian police said Thursday. Police said the accident occurred Wednesday in the coca-growing Yungas region in southern Bolivia, apparently after the bus experienced a mechanical failure on a notoriously dangerous hard-packed dirt road between La Paz and the town of La Asunta. The bus was carrying 40 passengers when it went off a cliff on the narrow, tortuous road, which is known as “the highway of death” because of the frequent accidents on it.

“So far, we have 15 dead and 20 injured,” said the La Paz Traffic Police. “That’s a preliminary report because it appears there are more fatalities.”

The director of a local clinic where the injured were being treated told AFP the crash victims suffered serious injuries, including head injuries and fractured limbs.