Firemen recover bodies from a bus that fell off a cliff after it was hit by a tractor-trailer rig, in Pasamayo, Peru. Picture: Vidal Tarky, Andina News Agency via AP

Lima - At least 48 people were killed in Peru when a bus collided with a truck and careened off a cliff along a sharply curving highway north of the capital Lima, emergency services officials said.

The accident on Tuesday took place on the Panamericana Norte highway near the area of Pasamayo on the Pacific coast.

Rescue workers load an injured man on a stretcher after he was retrieved from a bus that fell off a cliff after it was hit by a tractor-trailer rig, in Pasamayo, Peru. Picture: Vidal Tarky, Andina News Agency via AP

The new death toll of 48 was updated from 36 people, according to Lewis Mejia Prada, a representative of the local fire-fighting company, and police late Tuesday.

Rescue workers surround an injured man on a stretcher who was lifted from the site of a bus crash at the bottom of a cliff after the bus was hit by a tractor-trailer rig in Pasamayo. Picture: Vidal Tarky, Andina News Agency via AP

Six people survived the crash and were being treated for injuries, and the government rushed emergency medical services to the site.

An injured man is transported over water from a bus that fell off a cliff after it was hit by a tractor-trailer rig, in Pasamayo. Picture: Vidal Tarky, Andina News Agency via AP

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