At least five people died, one of them a 4-year-old girl, and another 39 were injured Friday when a bus crashed into a mountainside in southern Peru's Arequipa region, police said.

The bus, which was heading from the city of Arequipa to Caraveli, hit a cliff in the area known as "the bull ravine," apparently to avoid another vehicle that crossed over into its lane.

A source at the hospital in the city of Camana confirmed to Efe that up to now some 39 passengers have been admitted, and that two of them were taken to a medical center in Arequipa to be treated by specialists.

Rescue work continues at the scene of the accident, a police official told Efe, so that an increase in the number of dead and injured cannot yet be ruled out.

Highway accidents are common in Peru due to the rugged terrain, unqualified drivers and vehicles in poor mechanical condition. EFE