At least 28 people killed as tourist bus carrying 50 people topples off mountain road and overturns on Portuguese island of Madeira
- Filipe Sousa, mayor of Santa Cruz, said that 28 people had died in the tragedy
- The bus crashed on a windy mountain road near the town of Canixo de Baixo
- Around 50 tourists are said to have been travelling on the coach at the time
At least 28 people are reported to have died after a coach went off the road in a hotel district on the holiday island of Madeira.
Local media reports suggest the coach was heading to Funchal, the island’s capital, and was carrying 55 passengers and a guide when it careered off the road near the town of Canico.
Filipe Sousa, the mayor of the nearby town of Santa Cruz, said 11 men and 17 women died in the crash – the majority of whom were German nationals.
Local reports said the driver lost control of the vehicle on a bend, careered off the road and crashed onto the top of a house.
Local media in Madeira said there could be ‘more than a dozen’ fatalities from the horror bus crash on Wednesday evening
Firefighters working to free the victims from the wreckage of the toppled bus on Wednesday
The bus overturned after falling off the winding mountain road near a remote hotel – the Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Garden.
A receptionist at the hotel, confirmed the bus had crashed nearby but said none of the hotel guests had been involved.
Emergency services were first contacted at around 6.30pm local time and at least fourteen ambulances attended the crash site.
A massive cordon has been set up, while shocked locals have gathered nearby.
Video showed emergency services appearing to remove the wounded from the crash site
Emergency services formed a cordon around the crash site while they attempted to recover passengers
Distressing video showed the walking wounded being helped away from the scene by emergency responders. Several survivors were sat by the side of the road.
Mayor Sousa had earlier confirmed: ‘There are dead but it is not clear how many.’
Portuguese president Marcelo Sousa is reportedly heading to Madeira on a Portuguese Air Force plane.
The Foreign Office says it is ‘seeking information’ from Portuguese authorities and is ready to support any British people who require assistance after the crash.
The coach was said to have toppled from a winding mountain road after the driver allegedly lost control