A Spanish woman and a French man died early Sunday in France in a bus crash that also injured 30 other people, officials told Efe, adding that the Spanish driver is among those who have been hospitalized.
The incident took place near Fitou, a city in southern France, at about 1:30 a.m. but the reasons for the crash have yet to be determined, Aude prefecture officials said.
The bus, belonging to the Eurolines company, had departed from Marseilles headed for Murcia, Spain, and among the 44 passengers on board were people from Spain, France, Ukraine and Russia, but prefecture authorities said they did not yet have a complete list of the injured from each country.
The woman who died was 55 years old and her family, who were informed of her death by other passengers using the victim's cell phone, have already departed for France to identify her body.
The driver, according to preliminary statements he provided to police, said that the crash occurred after a passenger grabbed the steering wheel and swerved it to force him to stop.
The bus went through a safety barrier on the A9 highway and plunged about 70 meters (230 feet).
The injured, among whom is one person in serious condition but who is not said to be in mortal danger, were transported to the closest hospitals - in Narbonne, Perpignan and Montpellier - while the passengers who were not hurt were taken to a sports center in Fitou, where they were placed in the care of a team that will provide them with psychological attention, if needed. EFE