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19 dead, 32 injured in Mexico pilgrimage bus crash

At least 19 people are dead and 32 more were injured after a bus carrying Catholic pilgrims to a religious site in Central Mexico crashed on Friday.

Officials said the bus apparently lost its brakes and slammed into a building in the State of Mexico.

Six of the victims suffered injuries so severe they were flown to a hospital in Toluca, the state capital.

Ricardo de la Cruz, the assistant state interior secretary, said the accident occurred in the township of Joquicingo, southwest of Mexico City.

The bus was heading from the western state of Michoacan to Chalma, a town that has been visited by Roman Catholic pilgrims for centuries.

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At least 19 people are dead and 32 more were injured after a bus apparently carrying pilgrims to a religious site in central Mexico crashed on Friday

State officials said the bus apparently lost its brakes and slammed into a building in the State of Mexico

Six of the victims suffered injuries so severe they were flown to hospital in Toluca, the state capital

There was no immediate information on the condition of the injured passengers.

Many Mexicans go on religious pilgrimages as December 12, the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, approaches.

Because they often walk or bike on narrow roads or travel in aging buses, accidents are not uncommon.

Mexico State borders Mexico City on three sides, and includes both remote rural villages and crowded suburbs of the capital.

Chalma was a site sacred in pre-Hispanic times before the 1521 conquest. 

After the Spanish came, believers say, a cross miraculously appeared in a cave that had been dedicated to an Aztec god, making Chalma a Christian pilgrimage site.

The state Red Cross said 10 ambulances had rushed to the area. 

The bus was heading from the western state of Michoacan to Chalma, a town that has been visited by Roman Catholic pilgrims for centuries

Many Mexicans go on religious pilgrimages as December 12, the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, approaches. Because they often walk or bike on narrow roads or travel in aging buses, accidents are not uncommon

The state Red Cross said 10 ambulances had rushed to the area