The deaths of six Dutch tourists in a coach accident in Spain have
have been confirmed, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Friday morning. Earlier reports put the number of fatalities at eight.
The ministry statement said 36 people were injured in the crash which took place some 50 kms from Barcelona. According to press reports a number of children are among those injured.
According to the latest news, a lorry and two cars were also involved in the crash which happened as the coach left the C-32 toll road at San Pol de Mar, between Barcelona and the resort Lloret de Mar.
The coach was on its way back from an excursion to Barcelona on Thursday evening.
Some 15 passengers survived the crash without injuries, according to travel organisation Sundio.
According to a spokesman for the coach company Plenacosta, many passengers on the coach, especially younger people, were not wearing seat belts, reports the Volkskrant.
‘Those who did have a seat belt on were laregly unhurt,’ the paper quotes the spokesman as saying. The wearing of seat belts on coaches in Spain is compulsory.
Almost all the 65 people on board the coach were Dutch apart from the driver, who is Spanish, says Sundio director Joost Romeijn, according to media reports.
Most of them had booked their holiday via one of the travel companies operated by Rotterdam-based firm Sundio: Sunweb, Jiba and Evenements Reizen.
The driver, who was taken to hospital with broken bones, has driven along the same route on many occassions. A breathalyser test indicated he had not been drinking, according to press reports.
Police have begun an investigation into the accident.
The medical emergency service SOS International has sent three teams to Spain to support those involved in the accident.
The injured passengers have been taken to local hospitals, where some of them are believed to be in a serious condition, according to the Spanish media.
Queen Beatrix and the Dutch government have expressed their sympathy for those involved in Thursday’s coach crash.
In a statement on Friday morning the national information service RVD said the cabinet and the queen were ‘shocked and extremely upset’ when they heard about the tragedy.
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