Four killed in German motorway bus accident

A Flixbus on the way from Berlin to Zurich careered off the motorway near Leipzig (Jens Schlueter)
A Flixbus on the way from Berlin to Zurich careered off the motorway near Leipzig (Jens Schlueter)

Four people were killed and around 35 injured when a bus overturned on a German motorway near Leipzig on Wednesday, police said.

The bus came off the A9 motorway in the morning between Wiedemar and the Schkeuditzer Kreuz junction.

Police had earlier announced the death of five people in the accident, but revised the toll in the evening.

One person initially reported dead is in a critical condition, police said in a press statement Wednesday evening.

They said 29 passengers were slightly injured and six were in serious condition.

German operator Flixbus said the bus was en route from Berlin to Zurich with 52 passengers and two drivers.

"The exact circumstances of the accident are not yet known," Flixbus said in a statement.

"We are of course working closely with the local authorities and the emergency services on site and will do everything in our power to clarify the cause of the accident quickly and completely," it said.

The two drivers both survived, Flixbus added.

Photos showed the bus on its side, having apparently ploughed into trees on the side of the road.

Emergency services attended to the injured at the scene and the motorway was closed in both directions, German authorities said.

There were no indications that other vehicles were involved in the crash, according to the police.

German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said he was "shocked" by the accident.

"Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and, of course, with all those affected, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery," he told Welt TV.

Another Flixbus vehicle crashed on the same stretch of motorway in May 2019.

In that accident involving a bus travelling from Berlin to Munich, one person was killed and more than 60 injured, seven of them seriously.

tbh-fec/sea/rox/lb