(CNN Spanish) — A bus accident that took place early Wednesday morning in Panama left at least 39 dead in the province of Chiriquí. This is what is known so far.
The damaged bus was transporting migrants to a migration shelter in Los Planes, where people who enter the country through the Darien jungle and head to North America are housed.
How did the bus accident happen in Panama?
According to the director of Migration, Samira Gozaine, the driver of the bus carrying migrants missed the entrance to the shelter and, trying to turn back, fell off a cliff. The area, according to reports, has many curves and at night the difficulty of the fog.
Gozaine explained that these are private buses paid for by the migrants, but that the authorities control to avoid cases of traffic.
Los Planes de Gualaca, a key place for migrants
The accident took place in the district of Gualcala, in the province of Chiriquí, located in the north of the country. Specifically, the bus fell off a cliff just as it was arriving at a migration shelter in Los Planes, where migrants who entered through the Darién jungle are housed. It is from this point that they are allowed to leave for North America.
The Ministry of Health sent a team of 12 people to the shelter made up of doctors, psychologists and nurses to care for the migrants affected by the accident, both the relatives of the deceased and those who suffered minor injuries, the ministry reported in a press release.
Migrants who needed more attention were transferred to health centers in David. The José Domingo de Obaldía maternal and child hospital, for its part, is caring for 10 minors, one of them in intensive care.
With information from Elisabeth González of CNN en Español.