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Europe

Deadly collision near Slovakian ski resort

Latest update : 2009-02-21

At least 12 people died when a train and coach collided near the ski resort of Polomka Bucnik in Slovakia on Saturday. Prime Minister Robert Fico is expected to proclaim a day of national mourning.

AFP - Some 12 people were killed and 20 others injured in a collision between a train and a tourist coach in central Slovakia on Saturday, local authorities said.
  
The train smashed into the coach at full speed at a level crossing near the ski resort of Polomka Bucnik, in one of the country's worst accidents in recent years.
  
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said he would hold a extraordinary meeting with his cabinet later Saturday to proclaim a day of national mourning.
  
"The accident killed twelve people and injured 20," local police spokeswoman Maria Faltaniova told AFP.
  
Fire services earlier had said 10 were killed.
  
There were 36 people on the coach, all from the town of Banovce-nad-Bebravou in western Slovakia, bound for a ski holiday.
  
According to local media, the coach was stuck at the level crossing with the driver unable to change gears, when the oncoming train slammed into it.
  
The train pushed the bus for tens of metres (yards), Martina Pavlikova, spokeswoman for the Slovak Railways, told AFP.
  
"All the dead and injured were on the bus. There were only a few passengers on the train and they didn't suffer any serious injuries," she said.
  
Three helicopters and a dozen ambulances took the injured to several regional hospitals, the health ministry said.
  
The condition of two people with serious spinal injuries was "stabilised" by mid-afternoon, Health Minister Richard Rasi told local television.
  
In 2003, 13 pilgrims were killed in a coach accident near the eastern town of Gelnica and five members of a folklore group died when their bus fell into a ravine near the central-Slovak town of Hrinova in 2007.

Date created : 2009-02-21

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