13 killed in student bus crash in northeast Spain

Emergency services personnel stand at the scene of a bus accident crashed on the AP7 highway that links Spain with France along the Mediterranean coast near Freginals halfway between Valencia and Barcelona early Sunday, March 20, 2016. Photo: AP

At least 13 people have been killed and 44 injured when a bus carrying foreign exchange students crashed in north-eastern Spain.

The accident occurred just before 6:00am (local time) near the small town of Freginals, about 150 kilometres (95 miles)  south of Barcelona as the bus was returning from a popular festival in Valencia.
Regional authorities in Catalonia said the bus was carrying foreign students registered at Barcelona University as part of the European Erasmus exchange program.
According to the reports, the injured students are from Peru, Bulgaria, Poland, England, Turkey, Palestine, Japan, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. Most of the students are aged between 22 and 29.
Catalonia\’s regional interior minister Jordi Jane said the driver of the coach "hit the railing on the right and swerved to the left so violently that the bus veered onto the other side of the highway". The bus then hit a vehicle coming in the opposite direction, injuring two people inside.
The bus was carrying 57 people in all, including the driver. 
The accident is one of the deadliest in Spain in recent years. In November 2014, a bus carrying pilgrims fell into a ravine in the southeast of the country, leaving 14 dead and another 41 injured.
SOURCE: TOE and agencies
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