Poland’s president is calling for the cancellation of all entertainment events during three days of national mourning for 26 pilgrims killed in a bus crash in the French Alps. Church services are being held as investigations continue. A Rod Stewart concert has been cancelled. However another, by the Rolling Stones, will go ahead with some of the proceeds going to victims’ families.
The pilgrims bus crashed off a steep mountain pass and burst into flames.
It is thought the brakes failed on the vehicle, which did not have a permit to be on the road. Large vehicles that do not have what are known as triple braking systems are banned from the mountain route.
“Four motorcyclists had been following the bus for a few kilometres,” said the Grenoble prosecutor. “They said the bus seemed to be doing about 70 kilometres an hour, but that’s to be verified. They apparently saw some sparks at the back of the bus, and what’s important is that a witness said the driver had the brake lights on constantly.”
The 22-year-old driver died in the crash.
About 24 other people were treated in hospital, some of whom were seriously injured. Relatives of the victims yesterday travelled to France to get more information.