42 mostly elderly people die in bus-truck collision in France

Bordeaux, France: At least 42 people have died after a bus and a truck collided near Bordeaux in southern France, an official from the local prefect's office said on Friday.

Another eight people were lighly injured, the official said, after the two vehicles crashed and caught fire on a country road.

Reports say most of the bus fire victims were aged persons who were part of a seniors club in Puisseguin, France.

French media say Puisseguin bus tragedy is deadliest road accident in the country since 1982 when a bus accident in Beaune killed 53 people, mostly children.

France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says he is at the scene of the bus crash in Puisseguin with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Transportation Secretary Alain Vidalies.

The French Interior Minister was quoted as saying that the victims seem to be all French.

The accident took place in Puisseguin, near Libourne in the Gironde region about 57 kilometres east of Bordeaux.

The bus was carrying about 50 passengers and was heading south for the Landes region. Local media reports said the passengers were mostly elderly.

Xavier Sublett, Mayor of Puisseguin, said the truck driver lost control of his vehicle and missed a turn. The bus driver "tried to avoid it, but the truck came and hit it, and he couldn't do anything except activate the mechanism to open the doors to allow some people to get out."

Speaking from Athens where he is on a visit, President Francois Hollande said emergency services were mobilising and that he had been "plunged into sadness by the tragedy."

Source: http://www.gulfnews.com