Spain bus crash victims identified, 13 dead

Seven Italian and two German exchange students among 13 dead in Spain’s Catalonia bus crash

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The wreckage of a bus is lifted by a crane after a traffic crash in Freginals, Spain, March 20, 2016

Seven Italians and two Germans were among 13 young female students killed in a weekend coach crash in northeastern Spain, a regional official said on Monday.

The victims of Sunday's crash, all aged between 19 and 25, also included a Romanian, a French woman, an Austrian and a student from Uzbekistan, Jordi Jane, who heads up interior matters for Catalonia, said on the radio.

"Some of them were not wearing seat belts," Jane said.

The bus was carrying students from about 20 countries, many of them on a European exchange programme in Catalonia.

People sign books of condolence at Barcelona's University in memory for victims of bus crash in Freginals, south of Barcelona, Spain, March 20, 2016

Dozens were injured when the driver lost control of the coach and crashed into an oncoming car near the small town of Freginals as the group returned from a festival.

The driver, who was questioned by police Sunday, is in intensive care being treated for chest injuries, Jane said. He was due to appear before a judge on Monday, but the hearing has been postponed, a legal source told AFP.

The accident occurred about 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Barcelona as the students were returning from the Fallas festival in eastern Valencia, known for the burning of giant statues.