A bus crashed near the Italian city of Venice after falling from an elevated street, killing at least 21 people and injuring 18 others on Tuesday, authorities said.
The bus was carrying foreign tourists, including Ukrainians, Renato Boraso, a Venice city official, said. Boraso said the bus was bringing tourists to a camping site. Italian media reported that German and French tourists were also aboard the bus.
Venice prefect Michele Di Bari said that two children died in the crash in the Mestre suburb of Venice.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the scene of the crash was "apocalyptic" and that he had already declared the "city's mourning" for the "numerous victims" who were on the bus.
According to local media, the bus fell a few meters before crashing close to Mestre's railway tracks, where it caught fire. Emergency crews were on the scene. The state police said they were on-site to aid victims and "to investigate."
"The people in the bus found themselves surrounded by flames," said Mauro Luongo, commander of the Venice firefighters team. "The scene we found was terrible. It took about one hour to extract some of the bodies."
Four of the injured were in serious condition following the accident in the Mestre borough, Boraso said.
The City of Venice on social media confirmed that all the injured had been transported to a nearby hospital and that railway lines had been reactivated.
The Veneto region governor, Luca Zaia, told RAI state television that the cause of the accident was still unclear.
"This is an important tragedy, but it's difficult to understand how it happened," he said. "The bus was new and electric, and that street wasn't particularly problematic."
Premier Giorgia Meloni expressed her "deepest sorrow" after the crash. "Our thoughts go out to the victims and their family and friends," she wrote on social media.
for more features.