A tourist bus has veered off a steep road in a town on the Portuguese island of Madeira, killing at least 29 people and injuring 27 others. Most of the victims were German tourists.
According to Portuguese news agency Lusa, the driver lost control of the bus on a descent in a residential area of the coastal town of Canico.
Mayor Filipe Sousa told media the bus then plunged, landing upside down next to a house.
“I have no words to describe what happened. I cannot face the suffering of these people,” Mr Sousa told SIC TV.
He said that the coach, which was carrying 55 passengers, a tour guide and driver, might have also hit some pedestrians.
According to Germany’s Bild Daily, many of the tourists were retirees.
However, a regional civil protection official said the tourists involved in the accident were aged between 40 and 50 years old, Reuters reported.
The official said another bus carrying members of the same group of German tourists was not involved in the accident.
At a hospital in Madeira capital, Funchal, a spokesman said 29 people had died, with three undergoing surgery and 23 more under observation. No children were among the victims.
Lusa reported that Portugal’s public prosecutor’s office will open an investigation into the accident.
“It was with deep regret that I learned about the tragic accident in Madeira,” Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Twitter.
“To all families involved I send the deepest condolences.”
Madeira’s peak tourist season is during the summer, but it also gets many visitors in Easter.
Its regional government has declared three days of mourning.
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