A tragedy left 9 dead and 11 trapped, and should have been avoided. A bus and two light vehicles were pushed off the road by a landslide and fell 75 meters. The bus was carrying 60 passengers.
This happened Saturday afternoon in “El Hundimiento,” a road that connects San Ramon and Esparza.
The Red Cross confirmed nine dead, 11 trapped, one patient in critical condition, five patients in urgent condition, and 19 in stable condition. Patients were transferred to the Esparza Clinic, San Ramon hospital, and Puntarenas hospital.
A canine unit is searching for trapped people. Rescue teams continue to work on the wounded.
The Fire Department responded to the scene, as did 32 emergency units from the Red Cross.
The National Emergency Commission declared an orange alert through most of the country because of intense rain and flooding.
The National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models of the University of Costa Rica already warned, in March 2021, of three points with a high risk of collapse on that route. In fact, geological faults were detected there from the very beginning, when the highway was constructed in 1967. The media has been documenting problems and reports about it since 2005. Cracks, unevenness, and a “total absence” of road safety and containment elements have been reported and we’ve waited decades for solutions.
Conavi was finally awarded the project to design and construct works to solve these problems, on September 5. The project is to be completed within 430 days.