18 dead, 30 injured in bus-truck collision in southern Germany

By on July 4, 2017

BERLIN — A total of 18 people were killed in a deadly bus-truck collision in Bavaria Monday morning, and 30 others were injured, German police said.

The regional police of Upper Franconia confirmed the fatality on its official twitter account, saying that the passengers are between the age of 41 and 81 and most of them came from Saxony.

The collision occurred on A9 expressway near the city of Muenchberg shortly after 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) when the tour bus plowed into the truck at the end of a traffic jam.

After the collision, the coach with 46 passengers and two drivers onboard, went up in flames and all that remained was a charcoal wreck.

Rescue workers arrived at the site only ten minutes after the alert, but due to the great heat of the fire they could have done nothing more. This situation was extremely hard for firefighters to approach to the bus for the rescue work, said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann at the accident site.

Herrmann said it must be examined that why a minor rear-end collision ended up with a violent fire with such dramatic consequences.

Two prosecutors are currently at the disaster site. A preliminary investigation had not yet been instituted because the driver of the bus was killed in the accident, according to local Suddeutsche Zeitung.

However, during the day there would probably be a procedure to clarify “whether the bus driver was driving” or whether “possibly third parties” are responsible for the accident, the paper said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed sadness over the accident, saying that “our thoughts are in these hours among the relatives of the victims.”

Local police announced that A9 expressway will be closed in one direction for the whole day.

The A9 expressway connects several popular holiday spots in the southern German region, which is known for its castles and hot spas. (Xinhua)