A devastating accident occurred near Venice, Italy, on Tuesday night when a bus carrying predominantly international tourists plummeted from an overpass, resulting in a fiery crash. The incident, which took place en route to a campsite in the Marghera area, claimed the lives of at least 21 individuals and left 18 others injured. The bus reportedly smashed through a barrier on the elevated road before falling several feet onto an area near railway tracks in Mestre, where it subsequently caught fire.
Mauro Luongo, the commander of the Venice firefighters team, described the horrific scene, stating that the passengers found themselves engulfed in flames. The rescue team faced a daunting task, taking approximately an hour to extract some of the bodies from the wreckage.
Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, expressed his shock and grief over the incident, referring to it as an “apocalyptic scene” in a social media post. He declared the city to be in mourning, stating that the tragedy had left the community at a loss for words.
Among the deceased were two children, five Ukrainians, one German, and the Italian bus driver, as confirmed by Venice prefect Michele Di Bari. Local authorities have also warned that the death toll may rise, as at least four of the injured are in critical condition. The injured victims were transported to five different hospitals in the region following the crash.
The cause of the crash remains unclear. Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region, expressed his confusion over the incident, stating that the bus was new and electric, and the street where the accident occurred was not known to be problematic. Emergency responders worked tirelessly throughout the night to extinguish the flames and recover more bodies.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni extended her “deepest condolences” to the victims and their families, stating that she was in close contact with Mayor Brugnaro. This tragedy echoes similar incidents in Italy’s past, including a 2016 accident near Verona that killed 16 Hungarian students, and a 2013 incident near Avellino that resulted in 40 fatalities, marking one of the country’s worst vehicle-related disasters.