Twenty-six people died and 24 were injured today when a bus carrying religious pilgrims plunged off a bridge in the French Alps. Forty-nine Polish nationals and two drivers were on a tour of European Roman Catholic shrines when their coach slammed through a wall onto a riverbank and burst into flames, the Times of London reports.
The bus plummeted some 130 feet after a notoriously steep descent. “People were thrown out of the coach when it fell and we are looking for them in the river,” said a fireman. Authorities said they believe brake failure was the primary cause but were investigating the possibility that the driver was speeding and failed to negotiate a curve.