(Reuters) – At least 13 Venezuelans died in a road traffic accident when the bus they were traveling in fell into a precipice in north east Nicaragua, the Central American country’s police said on Thursday.
The bus, which was traveling along the Pan-American highway in Nicaragua’s Esteli province, was speeding and collided with two vehicles before falling into the ravine Wednesday evening, the police said in a statement.
A Nicaraguan man also died in the incident, while 47 people were injured, the police added.
Other officials gave varying death tolls.
David Smolansky, Commissioner of the Organization of American States (OAS) secretary general for the crisis of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, said 15 Venezuelans had died in a message on Twitter.
Nine men, five women and one child were killed, he said.
“I’m sorry to confirm another migration tragedy. We have received formal confirmation of 15 Venezuelans killed in an accident in Nicaragua when they tried to travel to the United States,” Smolansky said.
According to the United Nations, at least six million Venezuelans have left their country since 2017, when it fell into an economic and humanitarian crisis, which some analysts say is exacerbated by U.S. sanctions.
(Reporting by Vivian Sequera; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Aurora Ellis)