The director of the highway police, Rodolfo Palomino, announced the higher figure, and noted that 18 people were injured in the accident, some very seriously. The combined figure of deaths and injuries was higher than the passenger capacity of the bus.
Transoriente, which operated the bus, claimed that the vehicle left the Puerto Nare terminal in Antioquia with one empty seat, but acknowledged that once buses are on the highway it is difficult to enforce the number of passengers who board.
The company also said that the driver had thirty years experience on the road, and that the bus was a 2006 Nissan that had passed all recent mechanical inspections, which each vehicle undergoes four times annually.
According to El Tiempo, a survivor from the accident said that the bus was driving along normally when an explosion occurred in the back of the bus, causing it to lose control and go over an 80 meter cliff.
The Prosecutor General’s Office and local highway authorities have both opened investigations into the accident.