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Italy: Bus Crash in Venice Kills At Least 21 People

On October 3, 2023, a bus crash close to Venice, Italy, it as killed no less than 21 individuals, including two children. This incident sent shockwaves through the local area and left Italian authorities catching to decide its cause.

Venice bus crash

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The incident happened in Mestre, a borough of Venice, which is associated with the historic center of the city by a bridge.

The bus, carrying foreign tourists, including Ukrainians, was on its way to a campsite in the Marghera district when disaster struck.

Eyewitnesses described a scene of horror as the bus broke through a barrier and plummeted nearly 15 meters (50 feet) from an elevated overpass onto electricity lines below. The bus caught fire upon impact, leaving passengers trapped in an inferno.

Out of the 21 lives unfortunately lost, five were Ukrainians, and one was a German traveler. Two kids were among the deceased, adding to the awful cost of the mishap.

The injured, numbering 18, included tourists from various nationalities, including Ukrainians, Austrians, Spaniards, and others. Among the wounded were two 16-year-olds and even younger children.

Firefighters and other crisis responders worked enthusiastically to separate bodies from the destruction and quench the furious blazes. The scene was described as apocalyptic, with the bus severely crushed, making the rescue operation extremely difficult.

The injured were rushed to hospitals in the region, and some were in critical condition, raising concerns that the death toll might rise further.

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One of the key inquiries that arose following the misfortune was, what caused this awful accident? Italian authorities, including the Venice public prosecutor, Bruno Cherchi, quickly sent off an examination to uncover the truth.

The examination intends to decide whether some other vehicles were involved, if the driver experienced a health issue, and crucially, the cause of the crash itself.

One noticeable viewpoint under a scrutiny is the transport’s electric battery. The transport was electric-powered, and there were reports that the battery might have overheated, possibly adding to the fast spread of the fire.

The provincial fire brigade commander, Mauro Lungo, pointed out that batteries can experience critical issues when they overheat, which might have hampered the rescue operation.

The bus involved with the accident was operated by a nearby organization, which stressed that the 13-ton vehicle was for indeed electric-powered, dispelling earlier reports of methane gas usage.

This revelation led to questions about the safety of electric buses and their batteries, especially in emergency situations. Eyewitnesses provided crucial insights into the moments leading up to the crash.

Video footage captured by witnesses showed the bus slowing down and appearing almost stationary before inexplicably crashing through the guardrail and toppling over.

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This unusual behavior of the bus raised concerns about the driver’s condition or any technical malfunctions that might have occurred.

The 40-year-old bus driver, Alberto Rizzotto, was among the casualties of the accident. Rizzotto had worked for the the bus company for seven years and was considered highly experienced.

There were no indications on the road that he had attempted to brake before the crash. Speculations arose that he might have suffered a sudden health issue, leading to a loss of control over the bus.

The actual vehicle was somewhat new, under a year old, which added to the puzzle of why it left the flyover on a downhill stretch of the road and crashed through a guardrail and metal barrier.

The consequence of the accident left Venice in grieving, with Mayor Luigi Brugnaro communicating the city’s grief on social media.

Official mourning was declared in memory of the victims. The tragedy not only impacted the local community but also garnered condolences and support from world leaders, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

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