At least 21 people, including two children, were killed when a tourist bus veers off a bridge in Mestre, Italy, near Venice on Tuesday. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro told state media RAI that the bus was heading from Venice to nearby Marghera. The bus was returning from Venice's historic centre to a camping site when the accident occurred around 7:30 pm (1730 GMT).
Venice/Iatly: Tragic strikes when a bus full of tourist, running on methane gas, in Venice crashed near train tracks after passing through the railing of an overpass on Tuesday evening. It exploded, killing at least 21 people on board. More than 18 people were injured. The accident occurred when the bus was bringing tourists to a camping site on the mainland opposite the historic old city of Venice.
At the same time, the fire department said that the bus caught fire after falling from the bridge on the railway line connecting the Mestre and Marghera districts of the northern Italian city.
“A massive tragedy struck our community this evening. I immediately ordered the city to mourn, in memory of the numerous victims who were on the fallen bus. An apocalyptic scene, there are no words,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on social media post.
Un’immane tragedia ha colpito questa sera la nostra comunità.
Ho disposto da subito il lutto cittadino, in memoria delle numerose vittime che erano nell’autobus caduto.
Una scena apocalittica, non ci sono parole. pic.twitter.com/APnsQoPMkL
— Luigi Brugnaro (@LuigiBrugnaro) October 3, 2023
Regarding this accident, President of Veneto Luca Zaia said that the number of dead is at least 21 and more than 20 people are hospitalized. He said that efforts are on to recover the bodies and identify them. Luca said that the victims and injured included not only Italians but also people from many countries. A city official said the dead included Ukrainian, German and French tourists.
A city hall official said the dead included Ukrainian tourists while Italian news agency ANSA said the fatalities included German and French citizens. Three Ukrainians, a Croatian, German and French national were among the injured, a city official told sources.
Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said on Italian television that the bus exploded and caught fire after it fell on the tracks, making the accident even worse. He expressed fear that more bodies may still be recovered.
Photographer saw firefighters working on the charred remains of a vehicle that had been overturned on its roof. Firefighters waited for the vehicle’s batteries to cool before moving the vehicle forward to search for additional victims.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed her deep condolences on this accident. She said in a statement that I am in contact with Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and (Transport) Minister Matteo Salvini to keep an eye on the news of this accident. Salvini said that the cause of the accident could be the driver suddenly falling ill or becoming unwell.