A coach carrying Hungarian teenagers home from a school trip crashed and burst into flames on a motorway in northern Italy, killing 16 people, firefighters said Saturday.
Some 39 injured were taken to hospital following the accident near Verona on Friday night, which occurred when the vehicle smashed into a bridge pillar, according to emergency workers.
A huge inferno engulfed the bus, dramatic pictures released by police showed, completely destroying the interior and reducing the vehicle to a burned-out wreck.
Some were killed when they were thrown from the coach as it hit the pillar around 11:00 pm on Friday, but most were found badly charred inside the vehicle.
Most of those on board were Hungarian schoolchildren aged between 14 and 18, along with teachers and parents, returning home from a trip to France.
A spokesman for Hungary’s foreign ministry said the bus was carrying two drivers and 54 passengers.
The French bus driver, together with his family, could be among the victims, Italian news agency Agi said.
Part of the motorway was closed while investigators combed the scene for clues.