A bus crash in Montenegro has left at least 18 people dead.
HuffPo reports the incident occurred in near Podgorica, Montenegro when a bus load of Romanian tourists plunged off a bridge, deep into a ravine on Sunday, June 23.
Montenegro Interior Minister Rasko Konjevic says the bus was carrying 46 people and was en route from Romania to Montenegro’s Adriatic coast.
Immediate numbers reported were 13 dead, and 31 injured, however, new reports claim the death toll has climbed to 18, as seven of the injured passengers were in serious condition after the crash.
In addition to those on the bus, others on the bridge were hurt during the accident. One child was struck by the bus. The 12-year-old boy was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
One survivor told Sky News what they believed to be the reason for the horrific crash:
“The driver drove a little too fast and the bus slid.”
A helicopter was used to rescue the bus crash victims in an effort by Montenegro authorities. Heavy rocks that had fallen on the bus made it difficult to extract people from the site.
Forensic pathologist Miodrag Soc confirmed the deceased will be identified by their families.
A video of the bus crash aftermath can be viewed here.
Romania is now sending planes to bring home survivors of the Montenego bus crash. President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta send condolences and are deeply saddened in the wake of this tradgedy.
“Unfortunately, we lost 18 people and that is a huge tragedy for Romania,” spoke Raed Arafat, a health ministry official.
According to police, the bus fell nearly 130 feet into the ravine, after falling from the bridge over the Moraca river. The crash took place during a rain storm on a road notorious for serious accidents in wet weather, due to slippery conditions and narrow passage.
In 2006, a train derailment in the same area killed more than 40 passengers.