29 Dead in Tour Bus Plunge

28 others are injured as bus falls down steep hillside
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2019 6:50 PM CDT
In this image made from video, rescue officials work a scene after a tour bus crashed in Canico on Portugal's Madeira Island, Wednesday, April 17, 2019.   (TVI via AP)
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(Newser) – A tour bus carrying German tourists crashed on Portugal's Madeira Island on Wednesday, killing 29 people and injuring 28 others, local authorities said. The bus, which was carrying 55 people, rolled down a steep hillside after veering off the road on a bend east of the capital, Funchal, and struck at least one house, the AP reports. Local television showed bodies scattered over a rural hillside next to the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira, off northwestern Africa, is a popular vacation destination for Europeans due to its mild climate and lush, hilly landscape. The dead included 18 women and 11 men, one of whom died later at a hospital, local mayor Filipe Sousa told a public broadcaster.

One official said it appeared that all the dead were German, but Tomasia Alves, head of the Funchal hospital, said not all the victims had been identified and refused to confirm the nationality of the dead. The injured were reportedly taken to a hospital. No children were among the dead and injured. In a tweet, the German foreign ministry expressed "great shock" at the accident: "We must unfortunately assume that victims are from Germany," it said. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in a tweet that he had sent condolences to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "I learned of this tragic accident in Madeira with deep sorrow," he said. Madeira's regional government announced three days of mourning, when flags on public buildings are flown at half-staff.

(Read more bus crash stories.)

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