Bus crash kills 23 including 3 kids as it plunges over cliff after brakes fail

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At least 23 people have died, including three kids, after a bus plunged over a cliff when the driver's 'brakes failed' in Bolivia.

The bus, carrying 33 people, plummeted 400m down a cliff in Cochabamba state on Monday morning.

Initial investigations suggest that the platform of the dirt road gave way before the driver's brakes failed to work.

Local radio claimed that the area where the devastating accident occurred is a fairly tight curve and the minibus may have either hit or come close to hitting another vehicle and tried to dodge it, swerving off the road and then the cliff.

The driver, whose wife died in the accident, is reported to have said: "I stepped on the brake and there was no brake."

He suffered injuries including fractures to his chest.

The dead included three children aged one, two and six according to a local police statement published on Facebook. Five other victims remain to be identified.

Those injured in the tragedy were taken to nearby hospitals about 50km from the regional capital.

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The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Bolivia has a poor road safety record and it is the third mass death involving a bus crash in the South American country in the past year alone.

In March this year 20 people died in an accident while in September last year there were 19 killed when a bus drove off a cliff elsewhere in Bolivia.

The country has one of the worst road safety records in the world outside of Africa and Asia.

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