By Catarina Demony
LISBON (Reuters) – At least 28 people, most of them German tourists, died and 22 more were injured in a bus accident on the Portuguese island of Madeira on Wednesday, authorities said.
The white bus overturned in a residential area in the coastal town of Canico, its mayor, Filipe Sousa, told reporters. TV images showed the vehicle on its side on a bank next to a narrow road and surrounded by rescuers.
“I have no words to describe what happened. I cannot face the suffering of these people,” Sousa told SIC TV.
He said the tourists in the bus were all German but some pedestrians might have been hit by the bus.
Other members of the same group of German tourists were travelling in another bus, which was not involved in the accident, a regional civil protection spokesman told a news conference.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told SIC TV that some of the victims were from Madeira but most were German.
Madeira is a popular tourist destination. The peak season is during the summer but it also gets many visitors during Easter.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa sent a message of condolences to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(Reporting by Catarina DemonyWriting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Toby Chopra, Andrew Heavens and Cynthia Osterman)