Four Portuguese nationals were killed and 28 injured when a bus travelling from Portugal to Switzerland crashed in icy conditions in France in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Last March, 12 Portuguese passengers were killed in another accident when their bus, travelling from Switzerland to Portugal, collided with a truck in France.
The latest accident occurred at around 4.30am on Sunday on Highway 79 in the Saône-et-Loire region of eastern France, near Lyon. It is the same stretch of road, nicknamed the “death route”, that saw the fatal crash last year.
Fifteen of the injured passengers in Sunday's crash were treated in hospital and were released on Monday. Three more are in a critical condition, including a two-year-old child. Another ten passengers remain in hospital.
The bus contained 32 people who were en route to Switzerland, which has a large Portuguese diaspora community. The four victims were reported to be returning to canton Fribourg, where they worked, following a Christmas break in Portugal.
It is believed that the crash was caused by black ice on the road. Much of Europe was gripped by freezing conditions over the weekend.
The bus reportedly slid across the road, through a barrier and plunged into a roadside ditch. The bus belonged to the firm Rota das Gravuras and was "new and in good condition", according to French officials.
"The road was very smooth," said investigating prosecutor Karine Malara. "The weather conditions were very bad this morning."
Accident investigators are working to determine the exact cause for the crash. Both drivers tested negative for traces of alcohol.
swissinfo.ch with agencies