"Fourteen deaths were reported at the scene of the accident, 33 injured were transferred to the hospital in Villa del Rosario, where four of them died," police said after a crash in Zulia state which borders Colombia.

A man jumps inside a bus which crashed just outside Caracas, Venezuela. March 29, 2005. (File photo)
A man jumps inside a bus which crashed just outside Caracas, Venezuela. March 29, 2005. (File photo) (AP)

At least 18 people were killed on Sunday in a bus accident in a rural area of western Venezuela, police said.

"Fourteen deaths were reported at the scene of the accident, 33 injured were transferred to the hospital in Villa del Rosario, where four of them died," a police report said.

The accident occurred in a rural area of Zulia state which borders Colombia.

According to a preliminary investigation, a tyre burst while the bus was traveling "at an excessive speed."

The bus was carrying 58 passengers, according to witnesses interviewed by the local Panorama newspaper.

Venezuela, which is going through a crippling political and economic crisis, has roads which are often in a deplorable state due to lack of maintenance, and passenger vehicles are frequently very dilapidated.

Around 10,600 people died in road accidents in Venezuela in 2016, according to World Health Organization estimates in its 2018 global road safety report.

Its road fatality rate of 33.7 per 100,000 inhabitants is among the worst in the world.

Source: AFP