Hungarian and Italian authorities begin investigations into deadly bus accident


 Reuters International

A still image taken from a video shows firefighters working next to a charred bus, which was carrying Hungarian students, on a side of a highway, near Verona, northern Italy, January 21, 2017. Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via REUTERS

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By Sandor Peto

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Authorities in Italy and Hungary have begun investigations into the cause of the bus crash near Verona around midnight on Friday, which left 16 dead and two people with life threatening injuries.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Sunday that investigations were under way and confirmed that the bus carrying Hungarian students returning from a ski holiday had 56 people on board when it crashed and burst into flames, but that it could take days to identify the victims because of severe burns.

Italian authorities have taken DNA samples from some of the parents who have arrived in Verona, which will help to identify the victims, Szijjarto said.

"Two people are in critical condition and have not yet been identified. One of the injured has suffered third-degree burns on 60 percent of his body," Szijjarto said.

The minister added that, based on current information, the two people with critical injuries are both adults. Four other people remain in a severe condition, he said.

Police officials are expected to hold a news conference in Verona later on Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Krisztina Fenyo in Budapest and Giulia Segreti in Milan; Editing by David Goodman)

Reuters

 Reuters International