The death toll from a bus plunging off a highway and down a slope in northern Peru climbed to 16 and the number of injured to 59, police in the Ancash region said Friday.

A police spokesman told Efe that the injured have been admitted to five hospitals in the region and that the bodies of the fatalities will be delivered to their families.

The accident occurred at 10:50 a.m. Thursday in the Cajacay district on the highway that leads from the city of Huaraz to Pativilca, the spokesman said.

The bus, which was headed for Lima, crashed down a 30-meter (98-foot) slope at a spot known as the "devil's curve," apparently because it was speeding and the driver was exhausted, the spokesman said.

The Health Ministry said Thursday that sent to the scene of the disaster were five ambulances plus doctors, nurses and members of the medical centers in the towns of Cajacay, Catac, Chasquitambo, and from the Regional Hospital of Recuay and Cajatambo. EFE