Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Bus crash victim IDs could take days - Hungarian official

Published:Monday | January 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP):

It could take days to officially identify the 16 people killed when a bus carrying Hungarian students returning from a ski trip burst into a fireball after crashing in Italy, Hungary's foreign minister said Sunday.

There were 54 passengers and two Hungarian drivers on the bus that crashed on an Italian highway near Verona just before midnight Friday, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. Two adults, hospitalised in critical condition, also have yet to be identified.

Szijjarto, visibly shaken by news of the accident, said the days ahead would remain emotionally challenging.

"A day has passed since the tragedy, and it is clear that the pain is even sharper," he told reporters. "As the shock fades, the losses become even more excruciating. The long and more painful process, like the identification of the bodies, is about to begin."




Most of the passengers were students from a Budapest high school returning from a ski trip in France.

Four passengers remained hospitalised with serious injuries. Szijjarto said one of the unidentified adults in critical condition suffered third-degree burns on over 60 per cent of his body, while the other person had undergone surgery for a serious head injury.

Szijjarto said the causes of the accident have yet to be determined. Italian officials said the bus burst into flames after hitting a highway barrier and then ramming into an overpass support column.

"The bus was practically fully destroyed by the pillar of the highway overpass," Szijjarto said. "For now, we can't responsibly say how exactly the bus got there and have not received any pertinent information."