- Wreck in Catalonia region leaves 28 passengers with injuries
- Driver tested negative for both alcohol, drug consumption
A bus with European exchange students on a visit to Spain crashed in the Catalonia region Sunday, killing 13 passengers and injuring many others.
The bus carrying mostly foreign students struck a guard rail on a highway en route to Barcelona, returning from the Valencia region, Acting Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters, adding that 28 people remain in hospital due to injuries. Twenty-one have been released, he said. He said it was too early in the investigation to confirm the identities and nationalities of those involved in the accident. He said the ministry is already working on their repatriation.
Fernandez Diaz said the bus driver, who had minor injuries, had tested negative for both drug and alcohol consumption. He is being held at a police station for questioning. La Vanguardia newspaper reported the driver, who hasn’t been identified, was experienced and had a clear record of no incidents on the road.
Earlier, Catalan official Jordi Jane told reporters most of the passengers were foreign students on an Erasmus exchange program. He said the investigation suggested human error may have played a role in the crash, without elaborating. Similarly, Fernandez Diaz said so far the investigation points to a human mistake, rather than a technical error.
Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted his condolences to the families of the students involved in the crash. Separately, the University of Barcelona expressed its concern and said it remains at the disposal of the families after reports suggested most students were studying at the university.