Tuesday, October 26

At Least 14 Die As Student Bus Crashes In Spain


 

 

A bus carrying foreign students has crashed and killed 14 people in northeastern Spain – and British students are feared to be among the injured. At least 43 were hurt when the coach collided with a car and overturned on the AP7 highway near Freginals around 6am local time.

The injured, aged between 22 and 29, were from Britain, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine and Barcelona, local media said. Four were reportedly seriously hurt in the crash, which happened around halfway between Valencia and Barcelona.

Two of the injured people were in the car. They are being treated at hospitals in Tortosa, Amposta, Reus and Tarragona, officials said. The bus, carrying 56 people including the driver, was returning from the renowned Fallas fireworks festival in Valencia when it crashed.

Jordi Jane, Catalonia’s interior minister, said the cause was not yet clear. But he said the coach driver “hit the railing on the right and swerved to the left so violently that the bus veered on to the other side of the highway”.

The bus then hit a car coming in the opposite direction, he said. Mr Jane said the students were part of the European Union student exchange programme Erasmus.

He said most of the passengers were studying two universities in Barcelona. “There were students on board, many of them foreign students studying in Catalonia and in Barcelona who had travelled to Valencia for the Fallas and were returning,” Mr Jane said.

Freginals Emergency workers are still working to clear the wreckage on the AP7 highway, which runs along Spain’s eastern coast.

Images from the scene showed the bus lying on its side. The local Catalonian government urge people who needed further information on the crash to call +34 900400012.

Catalonia’s newly elected president, Carles Puigdemont, has declared two days of mourning. He has cancelled a trip to Paris and is heading to the crash site.