Latest: 28 killed after bus carrying 55 tourists overturns in Madeira

Latest: 28 killed after bus carrying 55 tourists overturns in Madeira

Latest: A bus carrying tourists in Madeira has crashed killing 28 people, an official has said.

Local mayor Filipe Sousa told a Portuguese news channel the victims included 17 women and 11 men.

He said most of those on board were German tourists and it is not yet known whether any other nationalities were involved in the accident.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We are seeking information from the authorities in Portugal about a bus crash in Madeira, and are ready to support any British people who require assistance"

The bus was carrying 55 people when it veered off a road on a bend east of the capital, Funchal, before rolling down a steep hillside on Wednesday, Mr Sousa said.

Authorities said they are investigating the possible cause. Local residents said the weather was fine at the time of the accident, which happened while it was still light, in the early evening.

"The death toll is 28 people at the moment, that might rise a little," said Tobi Hughes, Editor of Medeira Island News blog.

Other passengers have been taken to hospital.

"I think they had been picked up from a hotel just up the road and were off out for the evening for a meal in a restaurant," said Mr Hughes.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is aware of the incident and stand ready to provide assistance if requested.

The Caniço region in Madeira
The Caniço region in Madeira

28 killed after tourist bus overturns on island of Madeira; Bus was carrying 50 tourists

Update 8.05pm: 28 people have died after a tourist bus overturned on the island of Madeira.

The deaths have been confirmed by Lusa, the national news agency.

The BBC are reporting the accident as having happened at Caniço.

The coach is believed to have been carrying 50 passengers.

Details are emerging with Portuguese media showing an overturned bus surrounded by firefighters.

The accident is reported to have happened at 6:30pm (BST).

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

The mayor went on to say all the tourists in the bus were German but said he was unsure whether all the fatalities occurred in the bus.

More to follow.

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