Venice, Italy – A catastrophic incident unfolded on Tuesday night near Venice when a bus, primarily carrying international tourists, plunged from an overpass, leading to a fiery crash. The bus was en route to a campsite in the Marghera area when it broke through a barrier on the elevated road, fell several feet, and caught fire near railway tracks in Mestre. The tragic accident claimed at least 21 lives and left 18 others injured.
The bus was filled with passengers from various nationalities, including children, Ukrainians, a German, and the Italian bus driver. The Venice prefect, Michele Di Bari, confirmed these details. Local authorities have cautioned that the death toll might increase as at least four of the injured are in critical condition. The injured victims were transported to five different hospitals in the region following the crash.
The commander of the Venice firefighters team, Mauro Luongo, painted a grim picture of the accident scene. He described the passengers as being engulfed in flames, and the rescue team faced a challenging task of extracting bodies from the wreckage, which took approximately an hour. Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, expressed his shock and grief over the incident, referring to it as an “apocalyptic scene” in a social media post. He declared the city to be in mourning, stating that the tragedy had left the community at a loss for words.
The cause of the crash remains a mystery. Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region, expressed his confusion over the incident, stating that the bus was new and electric, and the street where the accident occurred was not known to be problematic. Emergency responders worked tirelessly throughout the night to extinguish the flames and recover more bodies.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni extended her “deepest condolences” to the victims and their families, stating that she was in close contact with Mayor Brugnaro. This tragedy echoes similar incidents in Italy’s past, including a 2016 accident near Verona that killed 16 Hungarian students, and a 2013 incident near Avellino that resulted in 40 fatalities, marking one of the country’s worst vehicle-related disasters.