Venice bus crash: what happened in Italy bridge coach accident?

Firefighters work on the site of a bus accident on 3 October in Mestre, near Venice (Photo: MARCO SABADIN/AFP via Getty Images)Firefighters work on the site of a bus accident on 3 October in Mestre, near Venice (Photo: MARCO SABADIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Firefighters work on the site of a bus accident on 3 October in Mestre, near Venice (Photo: MARCO SABADIN/AFP via Getty Images) | Getty Images
The bus carrying foreign tourists plunged from an elevated street while traveling to a campsite

A fiery bus crash has claimed the lives of 21 people and injured at least 15 others in a borough of Venice, Italy, across the lagoon from its historic centre.

Firefighters and other emergency personnel worked through the night in an effort to remove bodies and put out the flames.

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According to Venice Prefecture, the victims included a German national as well as at least four Ukrainians. Here is everything you need to know about the incident:

What happened in Venice?

The bus was carrying foreign tourists when it fell from an elevated street on Tuesday in Mestre en route to a camping site near the community of Marghera, a Venice official said. According to local media, the bus fell a few feet before crashing close to Mestre’s railway tracks, where it caught fire.

Injured people, including five in a serious condition, included French, Spanish and Croatian nationals, local officials said. At least two of the dead were children, Venice prefect Michele Di Bari said, adding that many of the people involved in the accident were “young”.

The Veneto region governor, Luca Zaia, told RAI state television that the cause of the accident was still unclear. “This is an important tragedy, but it’s difficult to understand how it happened,” he said. “The bus was new and electric, and that street wasn’t particularly problematic.”

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The Italian driver, Alberto Rizzotto, was killed in the crash. Venice prosecutors are investigating if he felt ill while he was driving. He was an experienced driver, Venice city councillor Renato Boraso said.

Four of the injured were in a serious condition following the accident, which happened on the mainland just 3.7 miles north-west of the old city of Venice, said Boraso. The injured were transferred to five different hospitals in the region.

Mauro Luongo, commander of the Venice firefighters team, said: “The people in the bus found themselves surrounded by flames. “The scene we found was terrible. It took about one hour to extract some of the bodies," he said.

Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the crash scene was “apocalyptic” and declared the city in a state of mourning. Italian premier Giorgia Meloni expressed her “deepest sorrow” after the crash.

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Where is Mestre?

Mestre is a borough located on the mainland of Italy, just across the lagoon from the historic center of Venice. It is part of the Metropolitan City of Venice and serves as a gateway to the city of Venice, which is situated on a group of islands in the Venetian Lagoon.

Mestre is connected to Venice by bridges and causeways and is commonly used as a transportation hub for travelers coming to and from Venice.

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