Eight dead in Portuguese tour bus crash in Morocco

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Eight Portuguese tourists were killed when their tour bus plunged into a ravine in northern Morocco on Wednesday, the interior ministry said.

Eleven passengers on the bus were injured in the accident near the border with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, the ministry said, adding that one of the injured was in a "very serious" condition.

"There are, for now, eight dead, and 11 injured," the ministry said.

A Spanish government representative in Ceuta told AFP the bus was carrying Portuguese tourists who arrived on Wednesday morning in Ceuta on a cruise ship.

A witness said the accident happened in heavy fog and rain: "The coach skidded and fell into a ravine."

The injured were ferried to hospitals in Tetouan, Fnideq and M'diq, near Ceuta, the Moroccan police said, adding that the driver of the bus was among them.

With its 15th century cathedral and duty-free shopping, Ceuta is a popular destination for cruise ships and day trippers from mainland Spain and neighbouring Portugal.

Ceuta, along with twin enclave Melilla, enjoys a status similar to Spain's other autonomous areas such as the Basque region and Catalonia.

© 2010 AFP

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