The travel group, which consisted of 25 passengers, was on its way to Assisi, Italy. The journey began on Saturday evening in Cologne, and the accident occurred on Sunday morning in Switzerland. Several people were treated in hospital for light injuries.
A 27-year-old woman lost her life in the crash, while two others, including the driver, were seriously injured. The travel bus crashed into the post of a road sign on a motorway in Ticino, on the Swiss-Italian border.
Most of the group will travel back on Monday by train, explained Johannes Hübner of the International Bus Tourism group RDA. He undertook the emergency co-ordination for the affected bus company. The German embassy in Switzerland dealt with the care of the passengers.
The front of the bus was completely destroyed. The Swiss police has not initially released a statement about the exact course of events and the cause of the crash and is carrying out ongoing investigations.
The Cardinal of Cologne Rainer Woelki expressed “profound upset” in a statement. “I am suffering with the wounded and everyone else who has been affected by this accident.”