Eighteen tour bus passengers died when their bus collided with a lorry on the A9 motorway in Bavaria, Germany. As their bus burst into flames, 30 other passengers were also fighting for their lives.
Rescue Team Delayed
The bus was full of German pensioners who were nearby the fire that had started at Stammbach in northern Bavaria. The rescue team was delayed by the slow driving “gawpers” who passed by to watch the blaze and the gawk at the accident, according to Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.
Until today the cause of the fire is still unknown. Due to the traffic moving slowly at the time, the collision between the bus and lorry was not reported as a major accident.
Lorry was also incinerated and according to the German new website Frankenpost, it was carrying mattresses and pillows. The lorry now lays as a burnt-out husk just a few meters away from the burnt remains of the senior bus.
The lorry driver had managed to get out unharmed. The lorry was driving in front of the bus and he said that the bus had collided into the back of his truck and suddenly burst into flames.
The bus consisted of 46 passengers and two bus drivers, made up of men and women aged 66 to 81. The driver was amongst those who died. The group were on their way for a holiday in Lake Garda in Italy.
The passengers came from different areas including Saxony and Brandenburg
The forensic teams had managed to recover 15 charred remains and eventually the police confirmed that 18 people total had died.
Firefighters who had arrived with 10 minutes, were driven back by the intensity of the fire at the scene. “Only steel parts are recognizable so you can understand what that meant for the people in this bus,” said German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt.
Hans-Ulrich Sander, motoring safety expert, theorizes that mostly like the fuel line that ran under the bus ruptured, allowing the fire to catch and spread so quickly.
Rescue helicopters also joined the emergency teams at the scene.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her deepest sympathies to the injured and the bereaved relatives of the deceased. She also thanked the rescue services for their handling of the “appalling situation.”