Spanish tourist coach crash kills nine and twenty injured near Avila

At least 20 people were injured, five seriuosly and nine have been killed when a bus came off the road as it travelled downhill near Avila northwest of Madrid, trapping several passengers in the wreckage, emergency services said.

It is not yet known what caused the accident, although early indications are it was travelling at excessive speed on a bend.

The blue single-decker bus, which carried the markings of a private company, Cevesa, careened off the central Spanish highway and smashed into a safety barrier on Monday, tearing open one side of the vehicle and ending up nearly on its side, with only the safety barrier preventing it from sliding further down a slope by the road.

The entire right-hand side of the bus facing the slope was peeled open, windows shattered and buckled support pillars left exposed, first photographs in the Spanish online media showed.

The broken windscreen hung open like a curtain.

A dozen ambulances, two medical helicopters and teams of fire-fighters converged on the scene.

The bus had been heading to the provincial capital Avila from the province’s southern town of Serranillos and was less than 10km from its destination when disaster struck at about 8.45am.

“It came off the road for unknown reasons,” said the central government representative for Avila, Ramiro Ruiz Medrano.

“They are investigating the possible causes at the moment,” Medrano told Spanish public radio.

There is no information about the nationalities of the victims but early indications are the passengers are from the villages located along the bus route.

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