Nineteen Guatemala coffee workers die in truck crash

The driver is in police custody after authorities smelled alcohol on his breath


Associated Press
November 30, 2010 4:05AM (UTC)

A livestock truck packed with workers on their way to a Guatemala coffee plantation veered off a winding road and crashed, killing 19 of the passengers and injuring 44, an official said Monday.

Nine of the coffee workers died at the scene Sunday in the town of Zunil, northwest of Guatemala City, and the others were pronounced dead at nearby hospitals, said Mario de Leon, a spokesman for a local fire department.

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Most of the 70 people on the truck were between 12 and 19 years old and a handful of the passengers were children.

The truck driver, who is recovering at a hospital, is in police custody after authorities smelled alcohol on his breath after the crash, De Leon said.

The truck was coming down a road known for its sharp turns when it went off road and crashed into a wall, throwing out some of the passengers, authorities said.

Fifty other coffee workers were traveling the same road in a separate truck.

Coffee is one of Guatemala's main exports.


Associated Press

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