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Rome - Bus Crash In Southern Italy Kills 38 People

Published on: July 29, 2013 08:05 AM
By: AP
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Firefighters stand near the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)Firefighters stand near the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Rome - An Italian tour bus plowed through several cars before it crushed through a sidewall of a highway bridge and plunged into a ravine, killing at least 38 people, authorities said Monday.

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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 40 miles (60 kilometers) 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. Traffic on the stretch was slowed due to road work, officials said.

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.

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.

The bus was carrying a group of weekend holidaymakers from the Naples. The group had arrived from small towns near Naples at a hotel at a the thermal spa 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.

Firefighters stand near the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)Firefighters stand near the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Relatives visited a make-shift 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 died at the hospital.

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

Occupants of cars which were hit by the bus stood on the highway near their vehicles. 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.

 Investigators look at remains of a bus which plunged off  the Acqualonga viaduct on A16 motorway Naples-Canosa in the stretch West Avellino-Baiano at km 32, 29 July 2013. At least 38 people died when a bus plunged off a highway in southern Italy, according to fire department officials. Five children were among the 11 injured passengers taken to hospital after the crash. The group was returning from a weekend pilgrimage and trip to a spa when the accident occurred east of Naples, between Monteforte Irpino and Baiano.  EPA/CESARE ABBATE Investigators look at remains of a bus which plunged off the Acqualonga viaduct on A16 motorway Naples-Canosa in the stretch West Avellino-Baiano at km 32, 29 July 2013. At least 38 people died when a bus plunged off a highway in southern Italy, according to fire department officials. Five children were among the 11 injured passengers taken to hospital after the crash. The group was returning from a weekend pilgrimage and trip to a spa when the accident occurred east of Naples, between Monteforte Irpino and Baiano.  EPA/CESARE ABBATE
A firefighter looks at the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)A firefighter looks at the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A firefighter stands near the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)A firefighter stands near the wreckage of a bus following a crash near Avellino, southern Italy, Monday, July 29, 2013. A tour bus filled with Italians returning home after an excursion plunged off a highway into a ravine in southern Italy on Sunday night after it had smashed into several cars that were slowed by heavy traffic, killing at least 38 people, said police and rescuers. Flashing signs near Avellino, outside Naples, had warned of slowed traffic ahead along a stretch of the A16 autostrada, a major highway crossing southern Italy, before the crash occurred, said highway police and officials, speaking on state radio early Monday. They said the bus driver, for reasons not yet determined, appeared to have lost control of his vehicle. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


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1

 Jul 29, 2013 at 08:38 AM No Surprised Says:

This accident was a horrible tragedy, which could have been prevented. Without commenting on this specific accident, I can tell the readers from personal experience that Italian bus drivers, are macho fools, who drive recklessly, and who sometimes like to show off for the passengers. One time, I was on a tour bus, which started in Italy, and was going through the Simplon pass between Italy and Switzerland. There were many dangerous turns, along a mountainous road. The driver intentionally let the bus gain peed going downhill, and and then, with one finger on one hand, steered the bus through the curve, to show off for the passengers, especially the ladies on the bus! Even in the USA, there are many preventable long distance bus accidents, whereby the drivers speed, and lose control, or become disoriented, resulting in tragic consequences.

2

 Jul 29, 2013 at 04:21 PM happiness is a decision Says:

Gevald; what's going on with the Buses & trains lately??!

3

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