Bus crash in Sweden kills at least nine
A bus packed with tourists heading to a theater performance slid off a road in central Sweden on Friday and rolled over, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens, authorities said.india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 03:30 IST
A bus packed with tourists heading to a theater performance slid off a road in central Sweden on Friday and rolled over, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens, authorities said.
Scores of rescuers and police worked for hours to extricate passengers trapped in the wreckage near Arboga, some 100 kilometers west of Stockholm. Video from the scene showed the bus upside down in a snowy ditch.
Eight people were pronounced dead at the scene, and a ninth victim died later on Friday at a hospital, police spokesman Ulf Palm said, calling it one of the worst bus accidents in Swedish history. The county government said 48 people were taken to a hospital, but Palm said a recount of the injured might bring down that number slightly.
He said the passengers had boarded the bus in the city of Skovde, and were headed to a theater performance in the capital. Swedish media reported the passengers were planning to see the musical "Mamma Mia!" featuring the pop songs of ABBA, on Friday night. Authorities did not release the ages or identities of the victims, but said they were all adults.
Police spokesman Borje Stromberg told public broadcaster SVT that the cause of the accident was still unclear, but said the road was icy and wind was strong. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
"Other drivers say they saw the bus slowly steer out to the right and then slowly slide over the edge and turn over," Stromberg said.
The travel group that organized the bus trip said the Volvo bus was equipped with seat belts for all passengers and had winter tires.
Deadly bus accidents are relatively rare in Sweden, which has one of the lowest traffic fatality rates in the European Union. The number of people killed in road accidents dropped to a record low of 440 in 2005, according to preliminary figures from the Swedish Road Administration.