Friday 28 July 2017

Dance school bus crash kills 15, with 21 left injured

People wait outside Schestakow Hospital after a bus carrying a children's dance company collided with a truck and turned over on a highway outside San Rafael, in San Rafael, Argentina, June 25, 2017.
People wait outside Schestakow Hospital after a bus carrying a children's dance company collided with a truck and turned over on a highway outside San Rafael, in San Rafael, Argentina, June 25, 2017.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A bus carrying students, parents and teachers from a dance school flipped on a road in Argentina, killing at least 15 people, officials have said.

Nine adolescents and the driver were among those killed on Sunday in Mendoza province, about 1,000km (620 miles) west of Buenos Aires.

Another 21 people were taken to hospital with injuries, including four minors, said provincial health minister Claudia Najul.

Survivors told local news media that the bus was travelling at high speed with about 50 passengers aboard when it apparently struck the side of a hill on a curvy road, causing the vehicle to turn over.

The dance institute students from Buenos Aires province were returning from a tournament in the city of San Rafael in Mendoza province.

Local media published photos of teenagers and children among the group playing in the snow in the Andes mountains cordilleras on their way home.

A injured man is carried into the emergency room at Schestakow Hospital in San Rafael, Argentina, June 25, 2017 after a bus carrying a children's dance company collided with a truck
A injured man is carried into the emergency room at Schestakow Hospital in San Rafael, Argentina, June 25, 2017 after a bus carrying a children's dance company collided with a truck

President Mauricio Macri announced two days of national mourning for Tuesday and Wednesday.

A presidency statement said that the Argentine flag will be flown at half-mast at all public buildings nationwide.

"I'm shaken by this tragic accident," Mr Macri said on Twitter. "I want to stand by the families and friends in their pain."

The bus had been taken out of circulation in December and was not authorised to travel, according to the National Commission for Transport Regulation.

Investigating prosecutor Florencia de Diego said the driver lost control of the vehicle due to unknown reasons.

She said that the route was in good condition, the road signals worked and there was good visibility.

A transport plane is expected to transport the bodies back to Buenos Aires province.

Deadly road crashes are frequent in Argentina.

About 20 people were killed in February when a bus travelling at high speed from Mendoza to Santiago, Chile, flipped over.

In the same month, 12 people died after two buses collided head-on in Santa Fe province.

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