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BREAKING NEWS

German plane arrives in Madeira to take home bus crash survivors

German plane arrives in Madeira to take home bus crash survivors
An injured German tourist involved in a bus accident is helped onto a German Air Force medical airplane at Cristiano Ronaldo Airport in Funchal, on the island of Madeira, Portugal April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante -
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RAFAEL MARCHANTE(Reuters)
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CANICO, Portugal (Reuters) - An air force medical plane from Germany landed on the Portuguese island of Madeira on Saturday to take home the injured survivors of a bus crash that killed 29 German tourists earlier this week.

The bus veered off a steep road in the coastal town of Canico on Wednesday. The Portuguese driver and tour guide were among the 27 people hurt in the accident, which prosecutors are investigating.

Eleven of the injured Germans have already been discharged from hospital and 12 will be flown home on the medical plane on Saturday. Another was transferred to Germany on Friday and one will stay in hospital in Funchal, Madeira's capital, a hospital spokesman said.

The driver and tour guide will also remain under observation in hospital, the spokesman added.

Images taken by Reuters photographers on Saturday showed some of the injured being carried inside the plane on stretchers.

The company that owned the bus said it was cooperating with authorities investigating the crash, which killed 17 women and 12 men. Many of them were pensioners, German newspaper Bild reported.

Autopsies and post-mortem examinations have been concluded, Portugal's Justice Ministry said in a statement and authorities are waiting for data including fingerprints and dental records in order to confirm the victims' identities.

(Reporting by Rafael Marchante and Miguel Pereira in Canico and Catarina Demony in Lisbon; Editing by Helen Popper)

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