A Romanian tourist bus careened off a bridge and fell into a deep ravine on Sunday June 23, 2013 in central Montenegro. At least 18 people were killed, and 32 others were injured.
According to Rasko Konjevic, the country’s Interior Minister, the bus had 46 people on board when it crashed some 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the capital, Podgorica. The tour bus was traveling from Romania to Montenegro’s Adriatic coast on a narrow, windy road.
The police told media that the bus plunged from a bridge over the Moraca River during a rainstorm. That section of road is extremely slick when wet. The bus crashed 130 feet into the ravine. Police used a helicopter to aid in the rescues.
Konjevic said, “Sadly, this death toll could climb further.” Many of the surviving passengers are still listed in critical condition because of their injuries.
The road the bus traveled on was a winding road that leads from Serbia through the Moraca canyon to the seacoast. It is infamous for serious traffic accidents because it is narrow and slippery when wet.
The bus careened off the Zdrijelo Bridge and then plunged into the rocky gorge of the Moraca River.
Mihail Florovici, the Romanian ambassador to Montenegro to local media, “This is a major tragedy for us. Fifteen people out of 46 passengers died in a bus accident. Medical crews are fighting for the lives of others.”
The wreckage of the bus landed on its side on an outcrop of the gorge about 90 feet down. Police closed off the area and the main road linking Podgorica with the north of the country.
According to statements by the Health authorities, eight of the injured were in intensive care in a Podgorica hospital.
Romania sent planes to aid in bringing home survivors of the bus crash. On Monday, a military aircraft arrived in Podgorica to aid in the rescue. On Tuesday, two medically equipped planes were sent in to transport the injured.
Twenty-nine people have been hospitalized. Included in the injured is a young Montenegrin child. Four of the injured remain in critical condition.
Police initially announced that there were 13 people dead, but overnight the numbers grew to 18. Miodrag Soc, a forensic pathologist, told media that the victims will be identified by their families.
Health Ministry Official Arafat released this statement, “Unfortunately, we lost 18 people and that is a huge tragedy for Romania.”
The country’s President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta sent out their condolences to the victims’ families. The country held a day of national mourning on Wednesday.