38 Killed in Italian Bus Crash

Tour bus plows through cars and plunges off highway in Irpinia

 

 
 
 

FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press | | Monday, July 29, 2013


ROME (AP) — An Italian tour bus plowed through cars, crashed through the side wall of a highway bridge and plunged into a ravine, killing at least 38 people, authorities said Monday.

Rescuers wielding electric saws cut through the twisted wreckage of the bus looking for survivors overnight, and state radio quoted a local police chief as saying the bus driver was among the dead.

The bus lost control near the town of Monteforte Irpino in Irpinia, a largely agricultural area about 60 kilometers (40 miles) inland from Naples and about 250 kilometers (160 miles) south of Rome, hitting several cars before plunging some 30 meters (100 feet) off a viaduct on Sunday night.

It was not immediately clear why the bus driver lost control of the vehicle, but prosecutors were investigating technical problems and had ordered an autopsy on the driver.

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta described the crash as a "dramatic moment" for his entire country.

"We are deeply pained by this tragedy that has touched many families and many children," Letta said from Athens, where he met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

A reporter for Naples daily Il Mattino, Giuseppe Crimaldi, told Sky TG24 TV from the scene that some witnesses told him the bus had been going at a "normal" speed on the downhill stretch of the highway when it suddenly veered and started hitting cars. Some witnesses thought they heard a noise as if the bus had blown a tire.

"All possible causes are under examination. It could be a combination of causes," Avellino Highway Police Chief Salvatore Imparato said on Sky TG24.

The bus was carrying a group of weekend holidaymakers from the town of Pozzuoli, on the coast east of Naples. The group had arrived at a hotel on Friday afternoon, and had spent the weekend visiting the spa and an early home of Padre Pio, a late mystic monk popular among Catholics, Michele Montagna, the manager of the hotel, told Sky TG24.

Relatives visited a makeshift morgue in a middle school to identify the dead on Monday. The bus, meanwhile, was towed from the site to be examined for possible malfunctions.

Firefighters extracted 37 bodies from the wreckage. Most of the dead were found inside the mangled bus, which lay on its side, while a few of the victims were pulled out from underneath the wreckage, state radio and the Italian news agency ANSA reported. One person died at the hospital.

At least 10 people, including five children, remained hospitalized on Monday.

Cars that were hit by the bus stood on the highway. One car's rear was completely crumpled, while another was smashed on its side. It was not immediately known if anyone in those cars had been injured.

___

Salvatore Laporta and Gregorio Borgia contributed to this report from Monteforte Irpino, Italy. Derek Gatopoulos contributed from Athens.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, international EMS, Italy, Rome, bus crash, MCI bus crash

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Medics, Firefighter Keep Working in Crash

Rural Metro medics describe crash that overturned their ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Drone Delays Landing of Ohio Medical Helicopter

Miami Valley Hospital incident raises questions over legalities of drones.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >