Finland mourns for nine bus accident victims

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The nine Finnish nationals were travelling in Málaga when their tour bus crashed into a car.

21 April 2008

MADRID - Finland's prime minister, Matti Vanhanen, called a press conference on Sunday to express his condolences to the families of nine Finnish nationals who died when the bus they were travelling in crashed into a car in Málaga on Saturday.
Another 38 people were injured in the road accident, and 17 remained in hospital on Sunday evening in a critical condition, including a child.

The 46 people on the bus were part of a tour group from Finland being taken to Malaga's airport at the end of their vacation when the accident took place Saturday in Benalmadena.

The bus crashed sideways into a sports-utility vehicle, lost control and plunged down a slope in southern Spain's Costa del Sol.

Police said the vehicle was driving in the opposite direction in the bus' lane, attempting to illegally pass another car. Spanish media reported that the SUV driver was allegedly drunk.

The bus accident was the worst in Spain in more than seven years.

The most serious case is a woman in her fifties who is in a coma, and who had an arm amputated, said doctors at the Carlos Haya Hospital in Málaga.

Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb publicly thanked Spain yesterday for the promptness with which it informed Finland of the crash.

"[Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel] Moratinos informed me of the accident and of the possible number of victims just one hour after it happened," Stubb said.

[El Pais / dpa / Expatica]

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