13 students dead, 30 injured in Spain’s coach crash

Barcelona, March 21 (IANS) At least 13 students aged between 22 and 29 were killed and 30 were injured in a coach crash in northeastern Spain on Sunday.

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The crash took place in the town of Freginals, Spain’s province of Tarragona, northeastern region of Catalonia, xinhua quoted reports by local media as saying.

Catalonia’s regional minister of interior Jordi Jane has confirmed the figures, saying 13 people were dead and 43 survived.

The official added that 30 of them were taken to different hospitals in the area with eight people being seriously injured and 13 were taken to a hotel in Tortosa.

Jane said earlier that most of the dead were Erasmus students, some of them from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) but he said he could not confirm neither that all of the passengers were students nor their nationalities.

The bus, from the company Autocares Alejandro Tours, based in Mollet del Valles, province of Barcelona, was carrying 57 people from Valencia to Placa Espanya, Barcelona. Passengers had been to Valencia, where the Fallas Festival took place.

Jane said the bus went towards the right and then to the left colliding with a car and overturning afterwards. The two people in the car were injured. Firemen are at the place, along with 12 ambulances and a crane is going to move the coach so that those who are trapped can be assisted.

Jane said that the cause of the accident could be a human error but he could not confirm it.

Jane said that the bus driver was at a police station declaring about the accident, which took place at 6:00 local time (0400 GMT) at km 323 on the motorway AP-7.

The crash is one of the most serious accidents in Spain involving a coach since July 6, 2000, when a coach collided with a truck killing 28 people and causing 13 injured.

Carles Puigdemont, the president of the regional government of Catalonia, has called off his trip to Paris, went to Tortosa and decreed two days of official mourning.

Spain’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other political leaders such as Pedro Sanchez, from the Socialist Party, Pablo Iglesias from Podemos and Albert Rivera from Ciudadanos have expressed their condolences.

12 killed in Indonesian army helicopter crash in Sulawesi

Jakarta, March 21 (IANS) An Indonesian army helicopter went down in Poso of Sulawesi province on Sunday, killing 12 military men and leaving one missing, Indonesian Armed Forces Spokesman Colonel Berlin G said.

“Twelve have been found, all of them dead. Another is still missing,” Xinhua quoted a spokesman as saying.

The Bell 412 EP chopper crashed at 17:55 p.m. local time in Kasiguncu village of Poso when it was conducting its routine task, Colonel I Made Sutia, spokesman of the military command in the province said.

He blamed the poor weather condition for the accident.

Poso is where Indonesia’s military have been conducting operations to hunt for the country’s most wanted high profile terrorist figure Santoso and his followers who are the backers of the Islamic State terrorist group in Indonesia and have carried out or are linked to several deadly strikes in the country.

Colonel Made said most of the crash victims were high-ranking military officers and one of them was military commander of the province, Colonel Infantry Saiful Anwar.

All of the victims have been rushed to the Poso General Hospital, he added.

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