PARIS, August 11 (Itar-Tass) - Three Russian nationals were hurt in a bus crash in the south of France, an officer on duty at the Russian consulate in Marseille told Itar-Tass over the phone on Sunday.
“A married couple was taken to hospital in the city of Perpignan, southern France,” the officer said. One more Russian citizen was taken to hospital in the city of Narbonne. He received a spine injury. A Russian diplomat from the consulate in Marseille is on his way to Narbonne.”
Earlier, the French media reported that people who has received minor injuries were taken to hospitals in Perpignan, while those with more serious injuries - to Narbonne.
The accident took place early in the morning in southern France not far from Fitou, Aude Department, at a highway connecting Marseilles and north-eastern Spain. For yet unknown reasons, the driver of the bus, which belonged to the Eurolines Company, lost control of the vehicle. The bus fell sideways on the roadway and slid down the five-meter high embankment. On board the bus were 41 passengers and three drivers. Two persons - citizens of France and Spain - died in the accident. About thirty passengers received injuries. Two are in serious condition.
As of now, the reason for the accident has not yet been established. The driver told the police he had had a conflict with a passenger who had twitched him by the arm urging to stop the bus. Investigators however doubt this, since next to none of the passengers provided sufficient evidence to prove it.
Moreover, some passengers said the driver had not been ready for the trip - he had several times taken the wrong road until a passenger gave him his navigation gadget.
After the interrogation, the driver was taken to hospital. Investigators are examining the bus’ recording devices.