Double-decker tourist bus slams into tree in Malta, 2 dead

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — An open-top double-decker tourist bus slammed into a low-hanging tree branch in Malta on Monday, killing two people and injuring 45 others, including a dozen children.

The accident happened in Zurrieq, a popular tourist destination just outside the capital Valletta that is famous for its ruins and “blue grotto.”

Health Minister Chris Fearne said most of the passengers hailed from Belgium or Britain. Of the 45 injured, 12 were children, including two critically injured youngsters. The two passengers who were killed, and most of those who were injured, had been sitting on the top deck when the bus hit the tree branch.

Such hop-on, hop-off buses are common for sightseeing around Malta.

The 24-year-old bus driver was not hurt.