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14 April 2024

At least 3 dead, 4 missing in Spain after bus plunges off bridge into river

By Reuters

 At least three people died and four were missing after a passenger bus careened off a bridge and plunged into a river in northwestern Spain, local emergency services said on Sunday.

Two survivors - the vehicle's driver and a passenger - have been rescued so far from the river Lerez, where a strong current and high flow due to heavy rains sweeping the Galicia region were hampering search-and-rescue efforts, authorities said.

The survivors were taken to nearby hospitals with varying degrees of injury, they added.

The coach from the company Monbus was travelling between the cities of Lugo and Vigo and had stopped at a penitentiary centre near the site of the accident.

It skidded off the road on the bridge for reasons that remain unclear and plunged into the water at around 9.30 p.m. local time (2030 GMT) on Saturday.

According to preliminary data, the bus carried nine people in total, the driver and eight passengers, said regional official Maica Larriba.

"There are no more bodies inside the bus, so we are continuing the search for the four missing people," Larriba added, referring to the findings of police divers who inspected the wreckage.

The river remained above its overflow threshold throughout the night, forcing emergency rescue workers to suspend the operation for nearly two hours due to the bad weather and terrain conditions before resuming in the morning.