Venice, Italy – A devastating bus crash in Venice left at least 21 dead and over a dozen injured on Tuesday night. The bus was transporting tourists back to a campsite when it plunged 15 meters off an elevated roadway, erupting into flames.
Most of the victims were foreign nationals, including 5 Ukrainians, 1 German, and other Europeans visiting the popular tourist destination. At least two children were among the dead, officials said.
The fiery wreck occurred around 11pm as the bus carried travelers from Venice’s Piazzale Roma to the Hu campground in Mestre. After crashing through a guardrail on the overpass, the bus caught fire, trapping passengers.
First responders worked through the night to recover victims. 15 survivors were hospitalized, 9 in critical condition, including a 3-year-old Ukrainian girl. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Venice’s mayor declared a state of mourning, calling the scene “apocalyptic.” Bus driver Alberto Rizzotto, who was killed, was reported to be an experienced driver. Prosecutors are examining if illness was a factor.
The fact that it was an electric bus may have worsened the fire and complicated rescue efforts. Passersby rushed to try and save victims from the burning wreck. One rescuer recounted carrying a 2-year-old girl from the bus who did not appear to have survived.
Italy has seen other devastating bus crashes in recent years. But locals said nothing similar had ever occurred on the overpass, which was built over 60 years ago. The tragedy has shocked both visitors and Venetians alike.
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