US teenager killed in French coach crash, 12 injured

19th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 18 (AFP ) - A coach carrying US tourists careered off a motorway in France Sunday and crashed into a ditch, killing a 16-year-old passenger and injuring 12 others, some of them seriously, police said.



PARIS, April 18 (AFP ) - A coach carrying US tourists careered off a motorway in France Sunday and crashed into a ditch, killing a 16-year-old passenger and injuring 12 others, some of them seriously, police said.

The accident, which occurred near the Charles-de-Gaulle airport northeast of Paris, prompted authorities to close part of the motorway for a few hours and conduct a major emergency operation involving firetrucks, ambulances, two helicopters and a crane.

A state prosecutor investigating the causes of the crash, Philibert Demory, said no other vehicle was involved and initial evidence "leads us to think that a curve was taken at excessive speed."

The two drivers on the coach have been taken into detention and were being questioned.

A regional official, Stephane Daguin, said the bus had been taking the 33 Americans on board to the airport for a flight back to the US city of Atlanta, Georgia.

The group was returning from a sporting event in the western city of Nantes.

As it entered a sweep to the left, the coach ran off the road and into a ditch, tipping it onto its side.

The 16-year-old boy, who was not immediately identified, was killed.

Three of the 12 injured were badly hurt, one of them critically. They were aged between 13 and 14 years.

Another nine were moderately hurt, and the rest of the passengers were in a state of shock, Daguin said.

A fire officer, Colonel Denis Munch, said two of the badly injured passengers had been trapped in the wreckage and were freed only after lifting machinery was called in.

All the passengers were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were visited by the US ambassador to France, Howard Leach.


© AFP                                                   

                                                         Subject: French news


 

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