The public prosecutor’s office initiates an investigation. This is intended to clarify why the bus left the road on Tuesday evening while driving from the lagoon city back to the mainland. According to initial information, no skid marks were discovered on the road, which was interpreted as an indication that the driver had fainted. The condition of the approximately 70-year-old bridge should also be checked. The investigators hope that surveillance cameras will provide clarification.
It was a private bus that took tourists from Venice to a campsite in Marghera. The victims included at least five Ukrainian citizens, a German, a Frenchman and a Croatian, rescue units reported. At least two children and the Italian bus driver, a 40-year-old from the northern Italian province of Treviso, were killed. The railway line between Mestre and Venice was interrupted, as the mayor of the lagoon city, Luigi Brugnaro, reported. The bus had been rented by the operators of a campsite in Marghera for its guests.
The accident occurred shortly before 8 p.m. on the overpass of the slip road that leads from Mestre to Marghera and the A4 Venice-Trieste motorway. For reasons that are still unclear, the bus broke through the railing, fell and hit the power lines and then onto the tracks of Mestre train station, where it caught fire. It was removed after several hours using a fire department crane.
“The bus’s batteries caught fire immediately after the impact. We had to wait for the batteries to cool down before we could remove the vehicle,” said a firefighter. Dozens of firefighters were deployed to extinguish the flames. The injured were taken to hospitals in Mestre, Padua and Treviso.
The Patriarch of Venice, Francesco Moraglia, reached the scene of the accident accompanied by Mayor Brugnaro. Moraglia said a prayer and then blessed the bodies, which were covered with white sheets.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani expressed their condolences to the victims and their families. “I thank the police, the fire brigade and the medical staff for their efforts. I express my solidarity with the city of Venice and the city administration,” tweeted Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani. Head of State Sergio Mattarella called Mayor Brugnaro and condoled the victims’ families. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen also mourned the victims.
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