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Three killed in a serious accident on the island of Chios

23 July 2012 / 16:07:53  GRReporter
3826 reads

Three people were killed and nine others were seriously injured in a serious accident on the island of Chios.

According to sources, around 8:30 the intercity bus was on its route Viky - Kardamena - Chios. At the junction near the village of Sikiada, it entered the opposite lane, for a hitherto unknown reason, and fell down an approximately 20-metre-deep precipice. After turning upside down three times, the bus caught fire and the fire gradually spread further.

Scenes of horror and panic followed. At the site of the crash, 10 fire-engines and 20 firefighters arrived and helped the driver and the passengers to get out of the burning bus. Two passengers, however, were found dead, suffocated by the smoke.

Ten seriously injured passengers were taken to hospital where one of them later died. The names of the victims are not yet known. Journalistic sources from Chios said that the victims were able to exit the bus, but were surrounded by a forest fire, which broke out after the fire on the bus.

Witnesses have stated that before falling into the abyss, they saw sparks coming out of the front tyre.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters and police officers pulled the bus out by a crane and ascertained that there were no other victims.

The Traffic Police are investigating the case. According to unconfirmed reports, the driver suffers from epilepsy.

Later it became clear that two of the victims are a couple of tourists who had been visiting the island for their summer vacation. Traffic Police confirmed that the driver had lost control over the bus at the spot of the turn, after which there is a steep climb. The reasons for the accident are still under investigation. According to local authorities, the driver often does this route and knows the road very well. The bus even passed a technical review several months ago and appeared to be in very good condition, as confirmed by the Director of Bus Transport in Chios Leonidas Kalagias.

"The bus was moving down Sikiada hill normally and on our return, we turned upside down. I did not understand how it happened", said shortly after the incident one of the passengers. From the shock he couldn't even explain how he  managed to get out of the burning bus.

Tags: Society accident Chios bus fire killed
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