At least 5 die in bus crash in northern Spain
MADRID - Five people, including three men and two women, lost their lives and 15 more were injured as a bus on the route between the cities of Oviedo and Gijon crashed in the town of Aviles in the northern Spanish Community of Asturias on Monday, emergency services inform.
The accident happened when the bus collided with a concrete pillar sustaining an overhead viaduct at a speed estimated to be between 80 and 90 kilometers an hour, at 13:40 pm local time.
The accident was on the AI-81 road as the bus headed to Gijon, which is 28 kilometers away.
Four of the five victims died in the accident, while a fifth passed away while being taken to hospital, meanwhile five of the injured, including the bus driver, are reported to be in a "serious" condition by regional health authorities.
The 'Alsa' company which runs the service confirms the driver had been working for them for 7 years and had passed a medical test in April.
The company also confirmed that the vehicle involved in the collision had passed all of the necessary safety checks, the last of which was in March of this year and the vehicle had also undergone routine maintenance on Aug. 19.
A spokesperson for the Civil Guard reported "a bus came off the road and collided with a pillar of a section of the new motorway which is currently being built," in an area of reduced speeds because of the roadworks.
Witnesses have told the Spanish press that just prior to the collision, the vehicle swerved first to the right and then left before hitting the pillar.
Although the cause of the accident is still being investigated, the early hypothesis is that the driver may have lost consciousness moments before the collision, while split the bus into two halves down to the third row of passenger seats.
The company Alsa, meanwhile will hold a "crisis meeting" to analyze all of the information currently available.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirms he has been in touch with the leader of the Autonomous Community of Asturias, Javier Fernandez, in a 'tweet' in which he gives "solidarity to the victims and their families" and wishes a "rapid recovery to the injured," while the regional government of Asturias has declared an official day of mourning for the victims.