In a harrowing incident on Tuesday, a bus transporting tourists to a campground met with a catastrophic accident near Venice, Italy, resulting in the loss of at least 21 lives and leaving 18 individuals injured.
The bus, after veering off the road and plummeting from an overpass, came to rest on electricity lines, igniting into a devastating blaze.
The calamity unfolded in the district of Mestre, closely linked to Venice via a bridge, as the bus tragically left the roadway, falling perilously close to railway lines.
The precise cause of this heart-wrenching accident remains shrouded in uncertainty.
Renato Boraso, a Venice city councillor, disclosed that one possible lead being investigated is the health of the bus driver, a 40-year-old Italian who regrettably perished in the incident, suggesting that he might have been taken ill before the collision.
“It’s an appalling tragedy; the city is in mourning,” expressed Boraso in an interview with Sky Italia television. Among the 40 passengers aboard the coach, 21 lost their lives, and 18 sustained injuries.
The death toll may escalate as several of the wounded are in critical condition.
Venice’s city hall reported that the injured individuals were promptly transported to nearby hospitals, with four of them in serious condition.
The catastrophic event unfolded at approximately 7:45 p.m. local time (1745 GMT) when the bus plummeted about 15 meters (50 feet) onto electricity lines, subsequently erupting into flames.
“It’s an apocalyptic scene. I am speechless,” lamented Venice’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro on social media.
Among the victims, five were of Ukrainian nationality, and one was German, confirmed Venice’s prefect Michele Di Bari, the local representative of the interior ministry.
The bus also carried passengers from France and Croatia, as reported by the Italian news agency ANSA.
Describing the scene, Di Bari said, “The bus is totally crushed.
The firefighters had difficulty getting a lot of the bodies out,” revealing that two children were among the casualties.
Late into Tuesday evening, rescue teams continued to wrestle with the wreckage of the bus to ensure that no more passengers remained trapped within.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni conveyed her condolences, emphasizing that her government’s thoughts are with “the victims, their families, and their friends.”
This tragic incident adds to the somber list of deadly bus accidents that Italy has witnessed in recent years.
In 2017, 16 lives were lost in an accident involving a bus carrying Hungarian students near the northern city of Verona, while in 2013, 40 individuals perished when a bus plunged from a viaduct in southern Italy.