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ACCIDENT

UPDATE: Two children die after school bus crash in eastern Germany

Two children, both eight years old, were killed and five more seriously injured when a school bus slipped off an icy road into a ditch in central Germany on Thursday, officials said.

UPDATE: Two children die after school bus crash in eastern Germany
Emergency workers by the overturned school bus in Berka vor dem Hainich. Photo: DPA

Local police said the bus had been carrying 22 children to their primary
school when the accident happened near the town of Berka in the state of
Thuringia.

The accident, which took place in the Wartburg district of Thuringia, happened after the bus came off the icy road at around 7:30 am Thursday morning.

The bus was travelling down a 12 kilometre route in order to reach a primary school in Berka vor dem Hainich, a municipality of about 800 residents, at the time of the crash.

It is believed the bus slipped on the ice because of a dip in the road, before toppling over an embankment and into a ditch.

Officials said the other 15 children on the bus were treated for light injuries and received psychological assistance.

“I am grieving for the injured children, and give my sympathy for their families,” tweeted Thuringia's minister president Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke/The Left Party).

Thuringia's interior minister Georg Maier said that there would be a
“detailed investigation” of the incident, but added that “today was not the
day for speculation”.

Separately on Thursday, nine children were injured in a similar incident near the Bavarian-Austrian border.

A police spokesman in Rosenheim said that a school bus had crashed into a tree in nearby Traunstein, for still unknown reasons.

He added that the driver had been seriously injured, while the children had sustained light to medium injuries.

 

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ACCIDENT

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident

Thirteen people, including German tourists, have been killed after a cable car disconnected and fell near the summit of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident
The local emergency services published this photograph of the wreckage. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was announced by Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, at 13.50 on Sunday, with the agency saying over Twitter that a helicopter from the nearby town of Varese was on the scene. 

Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps confirmed that there were 13 victims and two seriously injured people.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that German tourists were among the 13 victims.

According to their report, there were 15 passengers inside the car — which can hold 35 people — at the time a cable snapped, sending it tumbling into the forest below. Two seriously injured children, aged nine and five, were airlifted to hospital in Turin. 

The cable car takes tourists and locals from Stresa, a resort town on Lake Maggiore up to a panoramic peak on the Mottarone mountain, reaching some 1,500m above sea level. 

According to the newspaper, the car had been on its way from the lake to the mountain when the accident happened, with rescue operations complicated by the remote forest location where the car landed. 

The cable car had reopened on April 24th after the end of the second lockdown, and had undergone extensive renovations and refurbishments in 2016, which involved the cable undergoing magnetic particle inspection (MPI) to search for any defects. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Twitter that he expressed his “condolences to the families of the victims, with special thoughts for the seriously injured children and their families”.

Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini told Italy’s Tg1 a commission of inquiry would be established, according to Corriere della Sera: “Our thoughts go out to those involved. The Ministry has initiated procedures to set up a commission and initiate checks on the controls carried out on the infrastructure.”

“Tomorrow morning I will be in Stresa on Lake Maggiore to meet the prefect and other authorities to decide what to do,” he said.

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