At least 20 people were killed, including two children, when a bus ran off an overpass near Venice, Italy on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
Venice Mayor Luigi Bruniaro told Italian state television channel Rai News24 that there were “at least 20 dead” when a bus veered off the road and fell a few meters near railway tracks in Mestre, a suburb of Venice. After the collision near railway tracks, the bus caught fire.
“There are at least 20 dead, but some people are still trapped in the debris,” Brugnaro said.
According to a Venice official, the bus was carrying foreign tourists, including some Ukrainians.
“The people on the bus were surrounded by flames,” said Mauro Luongo, commander of the Venice fire brigade. “The scene we found was terrible. It took about an hour to get some of the bodies out.”
Venice prefect Michele Di Bari said 15 survived the crash.
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Four of the injured were in serious condition after the accident, which happened just 9 kilometers (3.7 miles) northwest of Venice’s old city, said Renato Borasso, a Venice city official. Two of the dead were children, Venice prefect Michele Di Bari said.
The injured were taken to five different hospitals in the area.
The cause of the incident has not yet been determined, as emergency crews are on the scene and have access to the damage.
After the crash, Brugnaro wrote to X, in a translated post, that the scene of the crash was “apocalyptic” and that he had already ordered “the city to mourn” for the “many victims” on the bus.
“A tremendous tragedy struck our community tonight,” Brugnaro wrote. “I immediately ordered the city to mourn, in memory of the numerous victims who were on the downed bus.
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“Apocalyptic scene, there are no words,” he said.
Apocalyptic scene, there are no words.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, offered her condolences to residents, saying she was close to the local government at this time of “deep pain”.
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“My deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the injured in the serious accident in Mestre,” Von der Leyen wrote in a translated post X. “I am close to President Mattarella, President Meloni and the Mayor of Venice Brugnaro at this time deep pain”.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.