• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
One German killed in deadly Spain bus crash
Photo: DPA

One German killed in deadly Spain bus crash

AFP/The Local · 21 Mar 2016, 13:00

Published: 21 Mar 2016 09:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Mar 2016 13:00 GMT+01:00

The victims of Sunday's crash, all aged between 19 and 25, also included a Romanian, a Frenchwoman, an Austrian and a student from Uzbekistan, Jordi Jane, who heads up interior matters for Catalonia, said on the radio.

"Some of them were not wearing seat belts," Jane said.

The students from 19 countries - the UK, Ireland, Peru, Bulgaria, Poland, Palestine, Japan, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Hungary, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland - were all enrolled at universities in Barcelona, many as part of the Erasmus European exchange programme.

As well as the dead, 24 people were injured, with seven in a serious condition.

Identification of the victims has proven difficult as many were not sitting in their assigned seats on the return journey.

"Erasmus Student Network Spain would like to request the public for discretion in respect for the families and friends, to whom we send our deepest condoloences," the Erasmus student organization said.

"In addition, we would like to thank all the volunteers and emergency services for their diligent work in these sad circumstances."

Dangerous stretch of road

The driver lost control of the coach at around 6 am on Sunday, hitting a railing before swerving into the wrong side of the highway and crashing into an oncoming car.

The accident occurred near the town of Freginals, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Barcelona, as the students were returning from the Fallas festival in eastern Valencia, known for the burning of giant statues.

Freginals mayor Jose Roncero Pallares said that that stretch of highway had a history of accidents.

"I don't know why, that highway looks fine and it's a straight line," he told AFP.

"It rained a lot that night and maybe that played a role."

No drugs or alcohol

The driver, who was questioned by police Sunday, is in intensive care being treated for chest injuries, Jane said. He was due to appear before a judge on Monday, but the hearing has been postponed, a legal source told AFP.

Media reports on Monday suggested that the driver may have been asleep at the wheel.

He was an employee with seventeen 17 years' experience and no reported accidents.

"It appears an undetermined human error and not a mechanical failure was to blame," Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said.

"The driver has tested negative for alcohol and drugs so those factors are ruled out."

Visit The Local Spain for full coverage.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,582
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd