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 hospitalized in critical condition also have yet to be identified.
Szijjarto, visibly shaken, said the days ahead will remain emotionally challenging. "A day has passed since the tragedy, and it is clear that the pain is even sharper," he said. "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 school returning from a ski trip in France. Candles burned Sunday outside Szinyei Merse Pal high school.
Four passengers remained hospitalized with serious injuries. Szijjarto said one of the unidentified adults in critical condition suffered third-degree burns on over 60 percent of his body, while the other person had undergone surgery for a serious head injury.
Szijjarto said the causes of the crash 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.
Judit Timaffy, the Hungarian consul in Milan, said a "hero professor" identified as physical education teacher Gyorgy Vigh dashed repeatedly into the bus pulling students to safety. Vigh lost two of his own children in the crash.
"He didn't succeed in saving the son and daughter," the consul said, according to the ANSA news agency. The teacher's wife was aboard and "she saw her daughter die. She didn't see her son at all, but unfortunately he was among the deceased."
Source: Associated Press via www.sfgate.com
Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2017 08:12