(updates casualty figures)


A bus accident early Friday in the western Mexican state of Nayarit left 24 dead and 14 injured, authorities said.

The original casualty report spoke of 21 dead and 29 injured.

First responders initially counted 17 bodies, but discovered four additional victims when the bus was lifted, while three injured passengers died en route to the hospital, sources in the state Attorney General's Office said.

The accident occurred around 4:00 a.m. on a stretch of highway between the towns of Puente de Chapalilla and Tequepexpan, Nayarit government spokesman Sergio Cañedo told Efe.

The bus was carrying tourists from the northern state of Chihuahua to the seaside resort of Rincon de Guayabitos, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Puerto Vallarta, when it ran off the road and into a gully.

Injured survivors were taken to three hospitals in Tepic, the capital of Nayarit.

Residents of a community in Chihuahua pooled their resources to charter the bus for the beach excursion, Nayarit officials said.

Schools let out in Mexico two weeks ago and the country's highways are crowded with families en route to vacation spots. EFE