Kiwi in fatal Spanish bus crash

Emergency services at the scene of the crash which happened in Catalonia, Spain. Photo / AP
Emergency services at the scene of the crash which happened in Catalonia, Spain. Photo / AP

No one from New Zealand has been killed or injured in the horror bus crash which took 13 lives in Spain yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.

It also remains unclear whether a Kiwi was among 57 female university students on the bus when it struck a railing and a car before rolling onto its side 95 kilometres south of Barcelona. Forty were injured, nine seriously.

Overseas media reported Spanish authorities as naming a New Zealander among the 19 nationalities of those on board, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not able to confirm whether that was the case.

They were continuing to liaise with Spanish authorities, a ministry spokesman said at noon.

The crash occurred just before dawn Sunday (6pm Sunday NZT) as the students were returning from a fireworks festival in Valencia.

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The students, all aged in their 20s, were all enrolled at the University of Barcelona as part of the European Erasmus Student Network exchange programme.

A spokesperson from the programme at the University of Barcelona told the New Zealand Herald they were working with Spanish authorities.

"The current priority is to identify the victims as well as to contact with their families. We have moved to the area to help the injured and their relatives. So far this is all the information we can provide, since the authorities are the [most] competent to make public further information about the names and nationalities of the victims."

A spokesman for Emergencies Catalunya said the students were from 19 different countries including New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, Peru, Bulgaria, Poland, Palestine, Japan, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont announced two days of mourning as 17 forensic experts worked on confirming the identities of those killed and organising the repatriation of their bodies.

The coach driver, who survived, tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

- NZ Herald

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