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Fiery bus crash on Venice flyover kills at least 21 people

In this image made available by Italian State Police, Italian state police agents attend the scene of a passenger bus accident near the city of Venice, Italy.
In this image made available by Italian State Police, Italian state police agents attend the scene of a passenger bus accident near the city of Venice, Italy. Copyright AP/AP
Copyright AP/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Those who died in the Tuesday night crash included at least five Ukrainians, one German citizen and the man who was driving the bus, according to the Venice prefecture.

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A bus carrying dozens of people plummeted 15 metres from an elevated road in Venice, causing a fiery crash that killed 21 people and injured 18 others, mostly foreign tourists.

Four of the injured were in serious condition following the accident in the Mestre borough, on the mainland opposite the historic old city of Venice, said Renato Boraso, a Venice city official. Two of the dead were children, Venice prefect Michele Di Bari said.

Un’immane tragedia ha colpito questa sera la nostra comunità. Ho disposto da subito il lutto cittadino, in memoria...

Posted by Luigi Brugnaro on Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The bus was carrying foreign tourists from Venice’s Piazzale Roma to the Hu campground when it fell from an elevated street next to railway tracks catching fire. Tourists frequently stay in boroughs across the lagoon from the canals of Venice’s famous historic centre to find cheaper accommodations.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the scene of the crash was “apocalyptic” and that he had already declared the “city's mourning" for the “numerous victims” who were on the bus.

Premier Giorgia Meloni expressed her “deepest sorrow” after the crash.

Firefighters worked until dawn Wednesday to clear the wreckage. Later in the morning, traffic was slowly passing the spot where the bus burst through a guardrail and a rusted fence.

The accident drew the attention of passersby. A couple of locals said that the overpass was more than 60 years old and that nothing similar had ever happened there, while a man wearing a biker jacket stopped his motorcycle to tie to a post a bouquet of plastic flowers.

Rescuers noted that the fact that the bus was electric contributed to the massive fire and made rescue operations more difficult.

In 2017, 16 people on a bus carrying Hungarian students died in an accident near the northern city of Verona. In 2013, 40 people were killed in one of Italy’s worst vehicle accidents when a bus plunged off a viaduct close to the southern city of Avellino.

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