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Tourist bus slams into iconic Paris bridge

Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt, AFP | French police officers stand near a bus stuck under the Alexandre III bridge in Paris after an accident on June 23, 2017

Four people were injured, one critically, when a double-decker tourist bus lodged itself into the Alexandre III bridge in central Paris around noon on Friday.

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Police and firemen at the scene said at least 18 tourists were riding on the bus when its top deck struck the bridge and became stuck under the monument.

The ornate bridge, which features Pegasus and nymph sculptures, spans the river Seine near the Grand Palais exhibition hall in the French capital.

The crash came during a large-scale event on the Seine to promote the French capital's bid for the 2024 Olympics, with a floating running track installed across the river just next to the bridge.

A police source said the bus was not travelling along its usual route, having been diverted because of the Olympic event.

Information on the injured, including their nationalities, was not immediately available.

The Big Bus Tours company, which offers sightseeing trips around Paris on open-top buses, confirmed to AFP that one of its vehicles had been involved in the accident, without giving further details.

Traffic was off-limits in large areas of the city center until midnight.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

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