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La Paz: Twenty people died and more than a dozen were injured when a passenger bus fell off a cliff in central Bolivia Tuesday, police said.

The bus plunged some 150 meters (500 feet) after leaving the road between Cochabamba and Santa Cruz in the early morning hours, said traffic police chief Helsner Torrico Valdez.

"Until now, 20 people have died and approximately 13 people have been wounded," he said.

The injured have been rushed to hospitals in the area.

In a similar incident last September, 19 people died and 17 were hurt when a bus drove off a cliff elsewhere in Bolivia.

Last April, a bus fell 200 meters into a ravine, leaving 25 people dead after a collision involving two trucks north of La Paz.

At the time, then-president Evo Morales urged bus drivers to take more care in a country that has a sorry record for highway safety.