At least 29 people died on the Portuguese island of Madeira after a tourist bus plunged down a hill and overturned, BBC reported. At least 27 people were injured in the accident.
The tourist bus which was carrying 55 passengers, besides a tour guide and a driver, rolled down a steep hillside after the driver allegedly lost control in Madeira’s capital city Funchal, reports said. Local Mayor Filipe Sousa said 11 men and 17 women died in the accident.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said preliminary reports indicated that all the deceased were German, AP reported. The German embassy in Lisbon told AFP that a number of its nationals were among the dead.
However, head of Funchal hospital, Tomasia Alves, refused to confirm the nationality of the dead, adding that all the victims were not identified.
Madeira’s regional government has declared three days of mourning, Reuters reported.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa sent a message of condolence to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “It was with deep regret that I learned of the tragic accident in Madeira,” he said on Twitter. “To all the families involved, I convey, on behalf of the Portuguese government, the deepest condolences. I also want to send a word of dismay and support to the Madeirans. I have also had the opportunity to convey the vote of regret to Chancellor Angela Merkel at this difficult time.”