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Bus Crash Kills 42 in France

  • VOA News

Rescue workers carry a injured person on a stretcher during rescue operations near the site where a coach carrying members of an elderly people's club collided with a truck outside Puisseguin near Bordeaux, western France, October 23, 2015.

Rescue workers carry a injured person on a stretcher during rescue operations near the site where a coach carrying members of an elderly people's club collided with a truck outside Puisseguin near Bordeaux, western France, October 23, 2015.

A road accident in France near the city of Bordeaux has killed at least 42 people, mostly retirees from a small village.

The truck-bus crash is believed to be the worst traffic accident in France in three decades.

The truck crashed into the crowded bus at a sharp bend in the road near the village of Puisseguin, and officials said both vehicles burst into flames. Eight people escaped from the burned-out wreckage of the bus, four of them with serious injuries.

The village of Puisseguin, near Bordeaux, France

The village of Puisseguin, near Bordeaux, France

The mayor of Puisseguin said those who survived the high-impact collision were saved because the bus driver managed to open a door to free them. The other driver lost control of his truck on a sharp curve, the mayor said.

Victims were members of a retirees' club making a day trip from Petit Palais, a village with about 650 residents.

President Francois Hollande, who is traveling in Greece, promised a full investigation and said his government was "fully mobilized" to cope with the tragedy.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve and Transport Minister Alain Vidal headed to the scene of the crash, 50 kilometers east of Bordeaux.

The crash is believed to be France's worst road accident since a bus crash in eastern France in 1982 that killed 53 people, including 44 children.

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