Jun 24, 2013 8:52 AM
PODGORICA, Montenegro - Romania sent an aircraft on Monday to bring home survivors of a bus crash which killed 18 Romanian tourists in central Montenegro.
The plane left Bucharest bound for Montenegro's capital Podgorica, where 28 injured passengers were hospitalized, defense minister Mircea Dusa said.
The bus fell from a bridge over the Moraca river during a rainstorm and crashed some 130 feet into a ravine on Sunday. It was not immediately clear what caused the driver to lose control as the bus broke through the fence on one side of the bridge.
Police initially said Sunday that 13 people were killed, but the number of fatalities grew to 18 overnight. Forensic pathologist Miodrag Soc told the AP that the victims will be identified by their families.
"Unfortunately, we lost 18 people and that is a huge tragedy for Romania," Romanian health ministry official Raed Arafat said in Podgorica.
Arafat added that two medically equipped planes will be sent on Tuesday and that the transport of the injured will be organized depending on their condition.
Altogether 29 people were injured, including a child who was at the bridge at the time of the crash, officials said. They said four people remain in critical condition.
Montenegrin police said the twisted wreckage of the bus most likely will be pulled out of the ravine later on Monday.
The winding road that leads from Serbia in the north through the Moraca canyon and then to the seacoast is notorious for traffic accidents because it is narrow, and slippery in wet weather.