Five elderly Dutch tourists killed in Peru crash

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Five elderly Dutch citizens and two Peruvians died when their bus collided head on with a truck in southeastern Peru, near the popular tourist spot of Lake Titicaca, police said Thursday.

The accident, which also injured another 22 Dutch nationals and five Belgians, happened on Wednesday on the road that links the main city of Puno to Desaguadero, a Peruvian border town and common crossing point into Bolivia.

Dutch embassy officials traveled to the scene to repatriate the victims of the crash from the Netherlands, who were aged between 60 and 86. Authorities did not immediately release the names of the dead.

"There are seven fatalities, among them five Dutch citizens," Puno police spokesman Jose Farfan told AFP. The two Peruvian fatalities were the drivers of the bus and truck.

In a separate accident on Thursday, at least nine people were killed and four others injured in the southern end of the central Andes when a truck driver lost control of his vehicle in a turn and flipped over, dumping passengers on the road, police said.

Deadly accidents are common on Peru's narrow Andean roads -- last year, almost 1,500 people died and more than 5,000 were injured, according to Peruvian officials.

© 2010 AFP

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