Three young British citizens remain in a critical condition in hospitals in France following Tuesday’s tragic bus accident in the French Alps, in which the bus driver was killed and 26 passengers injured, four seriously so.
19 year old Catrin Pugh has been named as one of the critically injured individuals, as well as another young man who has not yet been identified in the press. Pugh and this man are currently in induced comas in CHU de Grenoble hospital while they are awaiting surgery for the injuries sustained in the accident, said a spokesperson from the hospital on Friday.
Another 23 year old woman, who sustained burns to more than 80 percent of her body after the bus caught alight, has been transferred to a specialist burn unit at Edouard Herriot, a tertiary level hospital in the French city of Lyon. She is currently in intensive care and in a critical condition.
Pugh’s father was expected to arrive in France on Friday night to be with his daughter in hospital. The Pugh family were based in Wrexham, north Wales.
According to the lead investigating officer who is looking into the accident, it appears that brake failure is the most likely cause of the accident, which killed bus driver Maurice Wrightson instantly. Wrightson was earlier in the week praised for his courage in the accident. The 63 year old Briton, who hailed from Ashington, Northumberland, was working for the bus company Arriva, transporting a bus full of young Britons who had completed working at French ski resorts for the winter back to the UK.
Although the official investigation into the accident has not yet been completed, it appears that the brakes of the bus failed as the driver was approaching the last of a series of 21 treacherous hairpin bends on the Alpine road, which is part of the Tour de France cycle tour and rises over eight miles to a height of 6100 feet.
In more bus accident news this week, at least nine people have been killed and 50 injured in Bahawalpur, Pakistan after a passenger bus collided with a tree. According to police reports, the bus driver was attempting to avoid a motorcycle that was driving towards the bus in the oncoming lane when it struck the tree and overturned. Eight passengers, including two children, died instantly in the accident, with a further passenger succumbing to his injuries in hospital.