At least 48 people died Tuesday when a bus fell down a cliff north of Lima, Peru, onto a rocky beach after a tractor-trailer slammed into the bus, Peruvian police fire official said.

The Ministry of the Interior confirmed that the bodies of the passengers were discovered inside the bus, the Pacific Ocean and on the rocky beach. Six people were hospitalized with injuries.

The bus, which was travelling along a narrow stretch of highway known as the "Devil’s Curve," with 57 passengers on board was headed to Peru's capital when it was hit by a tractor trailer shortly before Tuesday afternoon.

After being struck, the bus went tumbling over the side of the cliff and it plunged down the slope and finally came to rest upside down on a strip of shore next to the Pacific.

"It’s very sad for us as a country to suffer an accident of this magnitude," Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in a statement

Photos posted on social media after the crash showed the devastating aftermath, with most of the blue and white colored bus appearing to be completely destroyed. In several pictures, the bodies of passengers from the bus can also be seen scattered along the rocky shore.

Rescuers were reportedly having a hard time as they struggled to pull out victims from the hard-to-reach area in Pasamayo, located about 45 miles north of Lima, on a stretch of road known as Curva del Diablo (the devil's bend). The Pacific Ocean road in Peru is considered to be one of the most dangerous.

"There is a large number of fatal victims," Col. Dino Escudero, head of Lima’s highway control division, told reporters Tuesday after the crash.

"The police and firefighters are working to rescue the victims of the crash, but we believe the death toll could rise," he added.

The highway has been named and known as the "Devil’s Curve" because it is narrow, is often shrouded in mist coming off the nearby ocean and curves along a cliff that has seen several accidents. Police said that the bus fell approximately 80 meters. 

"The road is intended for heavy vehicles. Extremely dangerous with fog, between April and December. The road was bypassed by a new road called Ruta nacional PE-1. But the heavy traffic is still using this road," according to dangerousroads.org's analysis, which labeled it as "extremely dangerous."