A memorial service for those who died in the coach crash in Italy has taken place. The coffins of the 38 who were killed were surrounded by parents, relatives and close friends in the sports hall of the small town of Monterusciello. Most of those who were present knew at least one of the dead.
“The tragedy has hit everyone. It was a punch to our hears and affected all of the city,” the words of one mourner resonated with everyone at the service.
The Prime Minister Enrico Letta was among the congregation of around four thousand, packed into the hall during a day of national mourning which was called after the accident on Sunday night when the coach plunged 30 metres into a ravine.
The individual names of those who died were read out. Later today the coffins will be taken away for private funerals. In a Naples hospital Bartolina de Felice who was severely injured recalled the crash.
“What I think is that one of the wheels just went. And then suddenly, there were sparks and flames inside. The bus couldn’t stop, it was travelling very quickly, it sped up without stopping. And then we fell, “ she said.
Officials have been examining the vehicle. One report claims its transmission was found a long way from the crash site while others point to tyre problems. An autopsy has been ordered on the dead driver’s body. Questions are also being asked as to why the flyover safety barriers failed to prevent the tragedy.