Nine passengers died and 34 others were injured in a serious accident last night with a Greek bus between the cities Ballsh and Tepelena in southern Albania.
The bus is owned by the public bus transport tourist company in the town of Ioannina, northern Greece. It was traveling along the international route Athens-Tirana-Athens and set off from the Albanian capital at 7 pm The bus have fallen into a 120 m deep abyss after about two and a half hours just before the border with Greece in a very strong storm and torrential rain.
Athens News Agency confirmed that a car with Greek businessmen passed along the same road shortly after the incident and the people tried to help the victims at once. They succeeded to take out a pregnant Greek woman and an Albanian youth and drove them to the hospital in Ballsh. The young woman lived and worked in a cafe in Ioannina. She went to Tirana to visit relatives and was on her way back to Greece.
According to some sources, a truck traveling in front of the bus hid most of the narrow road and the bus driver tried to stop abruptly. As a result, the bus slipped, went off the road and fell into the abyss. Albanian rescue teams stack up right at the crash and despite the severe weather conditions the rescue operations were completed within two and a half hours.
According to some Albanian media, 10 people died in the crash. There are two children among them, aged 14 and 16 years. Five of the wounded people were in serious condition and were taken to the hospital in Fier, about 110 km away from Tirana. Those slightly wounded were taken to other hospitals near the Albanian capital. The driver and one of the passengers that are Greeks were wounded slightly. All the other passengers, including the passed away, are Albanians.