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Iceland has 'dire need' for infrastructure reforms, PM says after fatal car crash

A car plunged off the bridge in Iceland killing three British tourists
A car plunged off the bridge in Iceland killing three British tourists Copyright ASSOCIATED PRESS
By Darin GrahamAP
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Iceland's Prime Minister calls for reforms after a car crash killed three British tourists


The Prime Minister of Iceland said the country has a "dire need" for better infrastructure - after a fatal crash on Thursday killed three British tourists.

Speaking to reporters, Katrin Jakobsdottir described the incident as "tragic" and said that it showed the need for a better transportation system.

The leader added that the infrastructure has not been maintained properly since the financial crisis.

"It is under a lot of stress due to the two million tourists that visit every year, excluding the local population of course. All this shows the dire need for infrastructure reform," Jakobsdottir said.

Two women and a baby, who was not strapped in a car seat, were killed when their SUV (sports utility vehicle) plunged from a single lane bridge near Skeidararsandur.

Four others were seriously injured including another two children aged seven and nine when the car veered off the bridge and fell off over the railings.

"This is of course a terrible accident. It is a terrible thought that these people traveled here to spend their Christmas only for it to end in this tragic way," Jakobsdottir added.

The group was traveling in the Vatnajökull national park on a road between the towns of Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Skaftafell. The accident happened at 10.30 CET.

"The individuals involved in a traffic accident at Núpsvötn yesterday are all British citizens. The individuals were two brothers traveling around Iceland with their families. The deceased were two women born 1982 and 1985 and an infant born 2018," Iceland police said.

The Icelandic Road Administration called for the improvement of the country's single-lane bridges following the crash.

It said, “single-lane bridges can invite accidents and as such it is the goal of our transportation plans to get rid of them altogether.”

A report from the administration released in August found that a fourth of the countries some 715 one-lane bridges are over 60 years old.

Police said an investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing and that the road was not thought to have been icy when the incident took place.

Chief Superintendent Sveinn Kristjan Runarsson added that humidity could have made the surface of the bridge slippery.

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