Three Irish women are feared dead in accident in Bolivia
Three young Irish women are feared to have been among nine people killed when the truck in which they were travelling plunged more than 100 metres down a ravine on a mountain road in Bolivia.
One of the women has been identified positively as Ms Eugenie McGee (24) of Lough Eske, Co Donegal, and police in La Paz believe the other two are sisters, aged 25 and 23 from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has e-mailed photographs of the two women to La Paz to assist in the identification of the bodies.
The accident occurred on Monday, March 6th, when a group of seven tourists hired a truck to carry them from Rurryrenaque in the Amazonian jungle back to the capital. However, the wreckage of the accident was not discovered until last Saturday.
The others who died in the accident are two British nationals, a German, a South African and two Bolivians, including the driver of the truck.
The honorary Irish consul in La Paz, Mr Peter O'Toole, said the accident happened about 23 km from La Paz and at an altitude of about 4,500 metres. The truck tumbled down a sheer cliff into the ravine. "The indications are that three Irish women are involved but only one has been positively identified," he said.
Since it was the rainy season in Bolivia, driving conditions would have been difficult with a lot of rain and fog. Temperatures in the area of the accident fall to 20 C at night.
Baggage and documents belonging to the victims were scattered over a wide area which added to the difficulty of identifying them. Mr O'Toole said local police hoped to have a positive identification of all the victims later today. It is still unclear when the bodies will be returned home.