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At least 29 perish on tourist bus crash in Portugal

At least 29 people have died after a bus carrying German tourists plunged off a road and overturned on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

BBC reports that another 27 were injured in the accident near the town of Caniço.

The accident happened at 18:30 (17:30 GMT) when the driver lost control of the bus at a junction and went off the road, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Pictures show how the vehicle stopped just short of destroying a house.

"I have no words to describe what happened. I cannot face the suffering of these people," the mayor of Caniço, Filipe Sousa, told broadcaster SIC TV.

He said all the tourists on the bus were German but some local people could also be among the casualties. Eleven of the fatalities were men and 17 women, Mr Sousa added. The bus was reported to be carrying 55 passengers, as well as the driver and a tour guide.

Another woman later died of her injuries in hospital.

The vice-president of Madeira's regional government Pedro Calado said the bus met safety standards and so it was "premature to talk about what caused the crash".

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Author: BBC

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