At least seven tourists from the Czech Republic were killed and a further 44 tourists injured in a recent bus accident on a major motorway in Zagreb, Croatia, authorities said.
The horrific bus accident occurred at approximately 4am around 200 miles south of Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. The tour bus was en route to the central Adriatic beachside city Split, and the accident happened on the major highway connected the capital to the coastal town.
It is unclear as to the exact circumstances of the crash. The Croatian state television news broadcast, however, said that the bus smashed through the heavy steel barriers separating the southbound and northbound sections of the highway before overturning and lying on its side in the opposite lane, close to a tunnel.
Eyewitnesses at the scene described the incident, saying that the bus appeared to start swaying back and forth on the highway seconds before the driver appeared to lose control and smash through the barriers.
The first photographs taken of the scene of the accident show a terrible picture of burned, twisted remains of the tour bus lying on its side on the highway, with multiple bodies scattered across the pavement, covered in white sheets. According to the news report, one of the seven killed is a child.
Most of the 44 tourists who were injured in the accident were taken by ambulance to the nearby town of Gospic where they were hospitalized and are being treated for minor injuries. Three passengers were seriously injured, including two children, and were airlifted to Zagreb by helicopter for treatment.
According to doctor Marika Vrkljan Iliejevska, a doctor at Gospic General Hospital, those that were hospitalized in Gospic do not have serious injuries and are mostly being treated for fractures of the limbs or mild to moderate concussions.
The highway linking Zagreb and Spitz was closed to all traffic due to the accident, and workers remain on the scene clearing the debris. The cause of the accident is still unknown, and an investigation into the incident has been opened.
If the accident was caused by a mechanical error in the bus, or as a result of negligence on the part of the driver or the bus company, those that were injured in the accident and the families of those that were killed may be liable to open a lawsuit against the responsible parties. A lawsuit may be used to claim for damages caused in the accident.