By Deirdre Tynan • 14 July 2021 • 10:54
The wreckage of the bus.
Image: Italy Emergency Fire Department
A bus driver in Italy has been hailed as a hero after bringing 25 schoolchildren to safety before their bus burst into flames.
The bus driver was taking the children to a summer camp when it caught fire in a tunnel about 80 kilometres north of Milan.
Footage released by the fire department showed the bus in flames.
The president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, praised the driver’s quick thinking for pulling over and managing to remove the children from the bus before it was “devoured by flames”.
“Bravo, indeed, very good. The bus driver who, with timing and great clarity, intervened guaranteeing the safety of the boys on board. The most heartfelt thanks go to him from the Lombardy Region and all the Lombards. An applause also to the Fire Brigade and to all those who intervened to provide assistance,” he added.
Matteo Salvini, the former deputy prime minister of Italy, also heaped praise on the driver.
“It could have been a massacre. An extraordinary driver, he realized that something was wrong and was quick to drop off the 25 children who were traveling with him on their way to a summer camp, saving their lives before the vehicle was devoured by the flames inside the tunnel. Heroic, great professionalism, cool head, a gesture to be rewarded,” he said.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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