Yet another sad transportation-related disaster in Europe late Sunday night: Italian officials say that at least 39 people are dead and at least another 10 injured after a tour bus lost control and smashed into several cars stuck in heavy traffic. The bus, which plunged off a highway into a ravine outside Naples, was carrying weekend vacationers returning home from a holiday excursion. Here’s the Associated Press with the grim details of the incident:
The bus lost control near the town of Monteforte Irpino in Irpinia, a largely agricultural area about 40 miles inland from Naples and about 160 miles south of Rome, hitting several cars before plunging some 100 feet off a viaduct on Sunday night. Traffic on the stretch was slowed due to road work, officials said. It was not immediately clear why the bus driver lost control of the vehicle, but prosecutors were investigating technical problems and had ordered an autopsy on the driver.
The crash, which Prime Minister Enrico Letta called a “huge tragedy” on Monday, is the second transportation-related disaster in southern Europe since last Wednesday’s horrific train derailment in Spain which left 78 dead and dozens injured.