Over 20 Dead As Italian Tourist Bus Plunges Off Venice Bridge In Catastrophic Crash
In a harrowing incident near Venice, northern Italy,over 20 dead as Italian tourist bus plunges off Venice bridge carrying around 40 passengers. The bus tragically veered off an elevated overpass on Tuesday evening. As it plummeted approximately 15 meters, it collided with electricity lines and subsequently caught fire.
Luigi Brugnaro, Venice's Mayor, described the scene with sorrow: “It’s an appalling tragedy, the city is in mourning,” he told Sky Italia television. He also reflected on the scale of the devastation in a post on social media, stating, “An apocalyptic scene, there are no words.”
The bus was filled with foreign tourists, including individuals from Ukraine, France, and Croatia. Michele Di Bari, Venice’s prefect and the local representative of the interior ministry, confirmed the nationalities of some victims. “Five of the victims were Ukrainians and one was German,” he said.
Di Bari also remarked on the devastating state of the wreckage during an interview: “The bus is totally crushed. The firefighters had difficulty getting a lot of the bodies out.”
He further confirmed that two children were unfortunately among the victims.
Following the accident, emergency crews faced challenges in managing the aftermath. Alexandra Byers from Al Jazeera noted, “The scene the firemen had to deal with was really difficult, really bad.” As the investigation unfolded, Luca Zaia, the Veneto region governor, remarked that the actual cause behind the accident remains murky.
He said to RAI state television, “This is an important tragedy, but it’s difficult to understand how it happened. The bus was new and electric, and that street wasn’t particularly problematic.”
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni conveyed her sympathies, expressing, “The victims, their families and their friends” are in her government's thoughts.
It's worth noting that Italy has witnessed several deadly bus crashes in recent years. Notably, in 2017, a bus carrying Hungarian students met with an accident near Verona, leading to 16 fatalities. Another significant incident occurred in 2013 when 40 individuals died after a bus plunged off a viaduct in southern Italy.
Additional information on the recent accident near Venice reveals that Mayor Luigi Brugnaro reported "at least 20 dead" with more possibly trapped inside the charred wreckage.
Mauro Luongo, commander of the Venice firefighters team, shared the grim reality faced by first responders, stating, “The people in the bus found themselves surrounded by flames. The scene we found was terrible. It took about one hour to extract some of the bodies.”
Renato Boraso, a Venice city official, noted that the injured were taken to five distinct hospitals in the region.
While the cause of this tragic incident remains under investigation, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, extended her condolences: “My deepest condolences to the families of the victims and those injured in the serious accident in Mestre," and she further asserted her closeness to the Italian leadership during this grave time.