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By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A collision between a bus and two trucks in Bahia in the early hours of Saturday morning left some 36 people dead and eleven wounded – some critically. The crash happened on a stretch of the BR-116 highway between the towns of Milagres and Brejões.

The crash on the BR-116 highway in Bahia involved three vehicles
The crash on the BR-116 highway in Bahia involved three vehicles, photo by Prefeitura Municipal de Jequié Bahia.

The incident is said to have taken place when a bus, carrying sugar-cane cutters across the country from Mato Grosso to Pernambuco, was making a legitimate overtaking maneuver on a two-lane uphill section of the highway.

Reports say a truck coming downhill, in the opposite direction, lost control of its trailer, which went into the oncoming traffic, hitting the bus and pushing it off the road. The truck, in turn, collided with the bus head on.

Later, the Federal Highway Police (PRF) said that the bus involved in the incident had no authorization from the ANTT (National Transport Agency) and was driving on an injunction granted by a judge in Brasília – possibly pointing towards a previous incident with the vehicle or its owners.

Police are still questioning survivors of the incident to establish exactly what happened.

The BR-116 highway runs the length of Brazil from Ceará in the north-east to Rio Grande do Sul in the south of the country.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.

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