On Christmas Eve, a bus with a driver and eight passengers fell off a bridge while driving between the Galician towns of Lugo and Vigo. Around 9:30 pm, the bus was driving along a bridge when it fell and plunged 30 meters into the river Lérez below. Seven casualties were reported and two survivors have been rescued. The bus driver, one of the accident’s survivors, tested negative for alcohol and drug use and has been discharged from the hospital. The other survivor is a 56-year-old woman, who remains in the ICU at Montecelo de Pontevedra Hospital.
A motorcyclist passed by the scene and alerted the police of a destroyed protective railing on the bridge, but could not see what had caused the damage. Shortly after, a passenger inside the bus called the police and explained that the vehicle was “filling with water,” according to El País. Emergency services rescued the survivors and the six bodies soon thereafter. The bus had stopped at the local prison earlier, which at least two passengers, including one of the survivors on the scene, were visiting.
Speculation surrounding an additional passenger’s whereabouts began on Sunday evening, December 25, and was confirmed on Monday. Until Monday morning, there were thought to be six casualties and two injured from the incident, but on Monday, it was confirmed that another victim was missing. Search and rescue missions ensued. The missing person was the friend of one of the passengers who survived. The woman’s body was eventually recovered, bringing the death toll up to seven.
The seven victims include a teacher, a farmer, and an elderly caretaker, among others. Some of them were traveling to spend Christmas Eve with their families and others were on their way home from visiting loved ones. According to Telecinco, the cities of Lalín, Nigrán, and all of Galicia are mourning the loss.
Cover image by: El Confidencial