Investigation underway into Italy coach crash
Prosecutors in Southern Italy have now opened an investigation into the reasons for the coach crash which killed 38 people and injured a further ten, many of whom are reported to have been children, shortly after 8pm last Sunday.
The road accident is the worst to have occurred in Italy for many years. The coach swerved off the motorway, hitting a number of cars beforehand, then smashed through a safety barrier and plummeted 25-30 metres down into a ravine.
Emilio Matarazzo, head of the first team of firefighters to arrive at the scene of the accident, spoke to newspaper La Repubblica about the horrors he had witnessed.
He said: “My colleagues and I went down there. When we got to the coach, we managed to… pull out five children. They were crying and were injured and were taken to hospital. Others on the other hand didn’t make it. There were people stuck between the seats. Dreadful.”
The investigation opened by prosecutors will involve a post mortem on the driver of the coach who is listed among the victims as well as carrying out a thorough investigation into the safety conditions of the motorway, including the barrier the coach crashed through, and whether the coach was in a good technical state.
A traffic police officer in Avellino, near Naples, where the crash occurred, told news agency ANSA: “At the moment no theory can be excluded…. The reconstruction of what happened is a real work of investigation which we will begin once the bodies have been returned.”