People walk near a banner with an image of Pope Francis on the facade of the cathedral in Lima, Peru, Jan. 3. Pope Francis assures his prayers and spiritual closeness to the wounded of the Pasamayo bus tragedy just weeks before his visit to Peru and Chile starting Jan. 15. CNS photo/Mariana Bazo, Reuters

Pope Francis prays for victims of tragic bus accident in Peru

By  Catholic News Agency
  • January 4, 2018
VATICAN – On Thursday Pope Francis offered his prayer for the 48 people who died in a massive bus accident in Pasamayo earlier this week, voicing words of comfort to families of the victims and all who were wounded.

In a Jan. 4 telegram, the Pope said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the painful news of the traffic accident in Pasamayo,” and offered prayers “for the eternal repose of the deceased.”

Signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the telegram conveyed Pope Francis' consolation “to the families who weep for such a grievous loss,” and assured of his his spiritual closeness to the wounded.

The telegram closed asking that God would “pour out on all the gifts of spiritual serenity and Christian hope,” and imparting Francis' “heartfelt apostolic blessing” to all those who are affected.

It comes after at least 48 people were killed when a bus collided with a tractor-trailer on a narrow road along Peru's coast Tuesday.

In the accident, which took place in the Peruvian city of Pasamayo, about 43 miles north of Lima, the bus plunged form the highway onto the rocks below, killing the majority of the 57 passengers on board.

Due to its proximity to the cliff and the heavy fog that frequently shrouds visibility, the stretch of highway where the accident happened is often called “the Devil's Curve.”

Numerous people have died in previous accidents on that stretch of highway. In 2015 some 37 people died in an accident involving three buses and a truck, and in 2013 at least 51 of Peru's Quechua indigenous people died when their bus fell from the cliff into a river.

According to the Washington Post, only six people survived Tuesday's incident, and three are still missing.

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