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A helicopter helps rescue workers at the scene after a bus crashed with a truck and careened off a cliff along a sharply curving highway north of Lima, Peru, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

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LIMA (Reuters) - At least 36 people were killed in Peru on Tuesday when a bus collided with a truck and careened off a cliff along a sharply curving highway north of the capital, Lima, the country's health ministry said.

The accident took place on the Panamericana Norte highway near the area of Pasamayo on the Pacific coast, the ministry said on Twitter. Six people survived the crash and were being treated for injuries while the government rushed emergency medical services to the site.

"From the first moment I arranged all immediate support for the rescue of the victims in this emergency," President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski tweeted.

Road accidents are common in Peru because of unsafe highways. Police are investigating Tuesday's accident.

"It's a dangerous curve zone," Colonel Dino Escudero, head of Lima's highway control division, told local radio station RPP.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Marion Giraldo, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman)

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Reuters