Brazil highway patrol says 5 killed in bus crash

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A bus collided with a tanker truck in northeastern Brazil, killing at least five people, the country's highway patrol said Monday.

Earlier, military police had said they feared more than two dozen people were killed in the Monday morning accident, which saw both vehicles engulfed in flames on the roadside.

Both an investigator and a spokeswoman for the highway patrol said five people were killed. They requested anonymity, citing department rules.

The press relations office for the military police who said earlier there were fears that as many as 30 people had been killed did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment about the discrepancy in the death toll.

The accident occurred when the bus tried to pass another vehicle. The driver tried to avoid hitting the oncoming tanker truck by swerving into a ditch, but the vehicles collided head on.

Police said the vehicles were engulfed in flames by the time they arrived and there was little they could do to try to save passengers.

The crash happened about 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro.

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