At least 21 people have been killed and 18 injured after a bus carrying tourists to a campsite crashed and caught fire on an overpass in the northern Italian city of Venice, officials said.
The cause of the accident is not clear. The 40-year-old Italian driver was one of the victims and was already ill before the accident, said Boraso, Renato Ribeiro Calixto of the Venetian parliament. "This is a terrible tragedy and the whole city is in mourning," Boraso told Sky Italia.
Boraso said the bus was carrying 40 passengers, 21 of whom were killed and 18 injured. He added that the death toll was likely to rise as several of the injured were in critical condition. Venice City Hall said the injured had been taken to a hospital near the scene of the accident, four of them seriously injured. Officials said the bus fell from a 15-metre-high overpass to the railway at 7.45 pm local time (1.45 am China Standard Time Thursday) and caught fire.
Five of the victims were Ukrainian and one was German, said Dubary, a city official. “The bus was completely crushed and it was very difficult for the firefighters to get the bodies out,” Dubary told Sky Italia.
The Italian Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata reported that the bus was also carrying French and Croatian tourists.
Rescuers were still trying to clear the wreckage of the bus late into the night to make sure no more passengers were trapped inside, Tuesday said.
Italian prime minister Merloni expressed her condolences, saying in a statement that her government was with “The victims, their families and friends.”.