Coach driver held after crash kills 11

23rd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 June 2004, PARIS – Eleven people died and 39 others were injured when their coach overturned after hitting a security barrier on a stretch of dual carriageway along the Nationale 10 near Poitiers, north-west France, on Tuesday night.

23 June 2004

PARIS – Eleven people died and 39 others were injured when their coach overturned after hitting a security barrier on a stretch of dual carriageway along the Nationale 10 near Poitiers, north-west France, on Tuesday night.

The coach was carrying 48 passengers, mostly Moroccan and Belgian nationals, who were travelling from Brussels to Tangiers via the port of Algesiras, in southern Spain.

A 13 year-old boy was reported to be among the dead. Twelve of the injured, who were all taken to hospitals in Poitiers, were reported as being in a critical condition Wednesday.

“It was horrible. I heard people crying out and shouting,” said Bilal Korkdan, 21, a Belgian national who was pulled unharmed from the wreckage.

A judicial enquiry was opened Wednesday by the public prosecutor in Poitiers into the causes of the accident.

The driver of the vehicle was among the injured and unable to be immediately questioned. A second driver, resting at the time of the crash, was being held for questioning by French police Wednesday.

Officials from the Belgian embassy in Paris, along with the Moroccan consul-general in Bordeaux, visited the injured in hospital in Poitiers on Wednesday morning. French Transport Minister Gilles de Robien was expected to visit survivors of the crash later Wednesday.

The causes of the accident, which happened during heavy rainfall shortly after 9pm on Tuesday evening, were not immediately clear. 

French press reports said the reserve driver of the coach, which was pulling a baggage trailor, told police his colleague lost control of the vehicle after it was overtaken by a lorry.

Several passengers were reported to have also indicated that the accident followed immediately after their coach was overtaken by a lorry.


© Expatica France

Subject: French news

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