By RAF CASERT
A Polish bus carrying Russian youngsters crashed through guardrails and ended up on its side under a highway bridge near the port city of Antwerp on Sunday, killing at least five people and leaving two more critically injured, an official said.
The accident in Ranst happened at dawn and no other vehicles were involved at first sight, said mayor Lode Hofmans.
`’We have five dead,” Hofmans said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He said two more people were in critical condition, another three were seriously injured and seven more had light injuries.
Hofmans said the Polish bus was taking Russian youngsters from Volgograd, Russia, and was heading towards Paris when the accident happened. He said 42 people were in the bus, mainly teenagers and a few in their early twenties.
It was still unclear what caused the accident. There were no visible skids or break marks on the busy E34 highway just outside Antwerp. Some debris of the bus was already strewn on the highway where it rammed the guardrails around 6:30 a.m. (0430GMT) and went down skidding and crashing into a field some underneath the highway bridge.
Pictures of the crash scene showed the white bus lying on its side with belongings of passengers strewn outside.
At the crash scene, a crane was trying to lift the bus.