The driver may have become unwell before the fatal Venice bus accident. Wednesday, Italian authorities were investigating the cause of a horrific accident involving a bus carrying foreign tourists on the outskirts of Venice in which 21 people, including several children, were killed and 15 others were injured.
Tuesday night in the Mestre district, the electric bus crashed through the guardrail and off a flyover, striking the ground more than 10 meters (33 feet) below and taking fire.
According to Michele Di Bari, prefect of Venice and local representative of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, five Ukrainians, a German, and an Italian bus driver were among those slain. He made no remarks regarding the nationality of the other victims.
The accident occurred shortly before 8:00 p.m. (1800 GMT) on a straight and typically bustling road that connects Mestre to the historic center of Venice and runs alongside a railway.
“We believe the driver may have fallen ill,” said Luca Zaia, regional president of Veneto, on RTL 102.5 radio. He stated that witness testimonies and CCTV footage could provide additional information.
Di Bari stated that four Ukrainians, two Spaniards, two Austrians, a German, a Croatian, and a French person were also injured in the accident. After sightseeing in Venice, the bus returned the tourists to a campground in neighboring Marghera.
Wednesday on Italian television, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed his condolences to the families of all the victims.
“OBTAIN MY DAUGHTER”
Residents reported hearing a loud explosion and rushing to assist.
There was a weeping woman who spoke English. While I was bringing her out, she said, “Get my daughter, get my daughter,” Nigerian-born Godstime Erheneden told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“It was a toddler, I believe she was two years old. She was unresponsive, and I believe she was deceased. She is the same age as my son, so I am distraught,” he added.
The bus license registration examination revealed that it was an electric vehicle manufactured in China. Wednesday, firefighters reported that the wreckage was still being inspected for fire hazards posed by its batteries.
Massimo Fiorese, the company director who operated the bus, told Corriere della Sera that he had viewed video footage of the moments preceding the accident.
He stated that the footage showed the single-decker bus slowing down and appearing “almost stationary” before it crashed through the guardrail and collapsed.
“I believe the driver was ill because I can’t explain it any other way,” Fiorese said, adding that the driver had begun his shift less than two hours before the accident.
The accident site footage revealed that the flyover was equipped with an older, comparatively flimsy metal guardrail instead of a newer, more robust concrete version.
On Wednesday, yellow flowers were fastened to the damaged rail, and the site was sectioned off with concrete blocks.