Deadly tourist bus crash in Portugal kills 28

A tour bus carrying German tourists has crashed on the Portugese island of Madeira, killing 28 people and injuring 28 others.

The bus was carrying 55 people when it careened off a bend in the road east of the capital Funchal, rolling down a steep hillside and smashing into a house.

Some pedestrians might have been hit by the bus.

Other members of the same group of German tourists were travelling in another bus, which was not involved in the accident.

Pedro Calado, the vice president of Madeira's regional government, told a news conference the injured, including the Portuguese driver and a local tour guide, were taken to a local hospital. He did not say whether anyone not on the bus was among the victims.

He declined to provide a breakdown of the victims' nationalities but local mayor Filipe Sousa said the bus was carrying a group of German tourists.

Local television showed bodies scattered over the rural hillside next to the Atlantic Ocean.

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, off the northwest coast of Portuagal.
Madeira, off the northwest coast of Portuagal. Photo credit: Google Maps

Merkel's spokesman said "terrible news is reaching us from Madeira". Steffen Seibert said on Twitter that "we are in deepest sorrow over all those who lost their lives in the bus crash".

He added: "Our thoughts are with the injured."

Germany's foreign ministry said its embassy in Portugal's capital, Lisbon, was in contact with local authorities in Madeira. Seibert said the government has set up a telephone hotline for people worried about family members.

Residents said the weather was fine at the time of the accident, which happened in daylight in the early evening.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

Madeira, off the southwest coast of Portugal, is a popular destination for European tourists.


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