Swedish coach overturns in Austria

At least 30 passengers were injured, though none seriously, when a coach from Malmö overturned near the exit of a tunnel outside Salzburg in Austria early on Sunday morning.

The double-decker bus was on its way from Zagreb in Croatia to Sweden and had 52 passengers on board. The accident happened when the coach hit a metre-high concrete block which had been placed in the road to guide traffic away from roadworks. A truck also turned over in the same spot.

Muhamed Mahmutovic, who owns the Malmö travel company which organised the trip, told TT:

“Where there were roadworks there was just one lane open. The truck had just passed the coach but didn’t have time to get back into the open lane. When the coach driver steered to avoid the truck he hit the concrete block and overturned.”

But police in Salzburg gave a rather different version of events on Sunday. They said that the coach hit the concrete block because the 44 year old driver had been unsure as to which lane led out of the tunnel, reported the Austrian news agency APA.

The passengers came from Sweden, Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia and the driver is a Bosnian citizen. The 30 – or, according to the police, 45 – injured passengers were taken to different hospitals in the area.

Muhamed Mahmutovic said that the injuries were mostly mild.

“This morning we hired to extra buses, one to take passengers to Sweden and one to go on to Zagreb for those who want to return after the accident. We’re waiting for the all-clear from the hospital,” he said.