At least 23 people remain hospitalised, three of them in critical condition, after a bus accident in north eastern Spain killed not less than 13 students, government official said on Monday.
According to the latest assessment by the minister of Interior of Catalonia, Jane Jordi, 13 foreign students, all female, died in the accident which took place in the town of Freginals in the province of Tarragona, north eastern region of Catalonia.
She said a total of 63 people were involved in the accident.
“Most of the passengers on the bus were Erasmus students aged between 21 and 29.
“They were from 19 different countries in Asia, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Oceania.
“Forensic team will finish all autopsies on Sunday. Ms. Jordi said.
The bus, which was carrying 61 people, collided with a car and overturned.
Two people on the car were injured in the accident which occurred at about 6 am on the AP-7 highway.
Having 17 years’ experience in driving, the bus driver never had an accident.
The driver tested negative for alcohol and drug, according to the Superior Court of Catalonia.
Investigations indicate that the bus driver could have fallen asleep.
The bus belongs to the company Auto cares Alejandro Tours, and it travelled from Valencia to Barcelona transporting students who had been to the Fallas Festival in Valencia.
The trip was organised by the association Erasmus Student Network (ESN) from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB).
The accident was one of the most serious crashes that occurred in Spain involving a coach since July 6, 2000, when a bus collided with a truck leaving 28 dead and 13 wounded.