PUISSEGUIN, FRANCE — At least 43 people are dead following a crash involving a tour bus and a truck in southwestern France early on Friday. The tragedy has shocked a nation that hasn’t experienced as deadly a road accident in more than three decades.
The crash occurred on a two-lane road in the French village of Puisseguin, 60 kilometres east of Bordeaux.
As Reuters reports, “TV footage showed two blackened vehicles, with the bus facing the wood-transporter’s trailer, the truck’s cab skewed to one side, and scorched vegetation around the site, which was sealed off by police.
“The bus was carrying about 50 pensioners south to the Bearn region from their homes in the village of Petit Palais and surrounding hamlets. The crash occurred just a few minutes after the pensioners had boarded the bus.
“Among the dead were the driver of the articulated lorry and a young boy who was in the cab, according to the local prefect’s office. News reports said the child was about three years old.
“The driver of the bus was among the survivors, who were able to exit through the front door he opened, according to a source close to an inquiry that was under way within hours.
“The source said the truck apparently veered onto the wrong side of the road as it came around a bend.
“A spokesman for the interior ministry said that, as far as he could tell, all the bus passengers were French and from the region.”
This animation depicts the accident and indicates the number of dead and injured.-Reuters