At least 40 dead after tour bus plunges off cliff in Brazil

Bus drove off cliff in popular tourist destination

Updated: 
governador celso ramos   santa...

At least 42 people have died after a tour bus fell 1,300ft into a ravine in southern Brazil.

The bus was carrying around 50 people and plunged into a wooded area near the city of Joinville in Santa Catarina state.

According to the BBC, at least six people were freed and taken to hospital.

Though no immediate cause of the crash has been determined, police say that the brakes on the bus failed.

Regional government spokeswoman Ana Paula Keller told AFP that eight children were among the dead.

The toll was initially put at about 30 but this rose throughout the night as rescuers found more bodies.

"There are people out there, on the hill, in the bus, trapped in the wreckage. But the chances of finding someone alive are pretty slim," state police Colonel Nelson Coelho said in a statement.

The site of the crash was near lookout point Dona Francisca mountains, which is popular among tourists.

Some of the world's deadliest roads are found in Brazil and the country sees more than 18 highway deaths per 100,000 per year.

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