Hungarian leaders express sympathy with families of bus crash victims

2017-01-21 21:59:51 GMT2017-01-22 05:59:51(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BUDAPEST, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Janos Ader both issued statements on Saturday, voicing their sympathy with the families of Hungarian students and teachers killed or injured in a bus crash in Italy.

The government has declared Jan. 23 as an official day of mourning.

"Loss of a young life, of a child, is the worst thing that can happen to any family, community, or nation," Orban said.

He added that he had ordered Hungarian authorities to do their utmost to completely clarify the situation.

Ader said that all of them share in the mourning of the parents, siblings, families and classmates of the victims.

He wished the injured a speedy and complete recovery and expressed his thanks to everyone who had helped in the rescue operation.

Sixteen people, primarily teenagers, died and 26 were hurt when the bus leased by a Budapest secondary school crashed into a motorway pylon and burst into flame just before midnight on Friday.

They were on the way home from a ski vacation in France.

An employee of the company providing the bus, repudiated the reports that it had been driven by a French chauffer.

Two Hungarians drivers were responsible for the bus and both were with the group for the entire time abroad, the employee told local wire service MTI.

They were both experienced drivers. The bus, he said was a German-made Setra with a capacity of 57 passengers and two drivers.

The principal of the Budapest secondary school that leased the bus said that it had been carrying 36 students.

The rest of the 54 passengers known to have been on board were former students, three teachers, and family members of one of the teachers, Principal Gabor Toth said.