French president: 42 dead in bus-truck crash - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

French president: 42 dead in bus-truck crash


 PARIS (AP) -- French authorities have opened a preliminary investigation into a crash between a bus and truck near Bordeaux that killed at least 42 people.
   The circumstances of the crash remain unclear, according to Pierre Dartout, the top government official for the Aquitaine region, who announced the investigation to reporters near the crash site.
   Both vehicles caught fire after the crash Friday morning.
   The mayor of the town where the collision occurred, Xavier Sublett of Puisseguin, said on i-Tele television that the driver of the bus managed to open the door, allowing eight people to escape.
   He said helicopters were evacuating severely burned victims.
   10 a.m.
   French President Francois Hollande says at least 42 people were killed and several others gravely injured when a bus and truck crashed and caught fire in southwest France.
   Hollande's office said in a statement Friday that Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve are heading to the site of the crash east of Bordeaux.
   Calling it an "immense tragedy," Hollande promised an investigation into what happened. He also expressed "the solidarity of the whole nation" with loved ones of the victims.
   9:45 a.m.
   A French legislator says that most of the victims in a crash that killed at least 40 were elderly people from southwest France heading on a day trip.
   Gilles Savary, lawmaker from the region, said on BFM television that a bus company from the town of Libourne was leading the group on a tourist trip. The bus collided with a truck near the village of Puisseguin on Friday, and authorities say at least 40 people were killed.
   Savary called it one of the worst crashes in recent years in the region.
   9:15 a.m.
   French police say that at least 40 people have been killed in a collision between a bus and truck near the southwestern city of Bordeaux.
   An official with the national gendarme service said the crash occurred near the town of Puisseguin, and that death toll may have been so unusually high because the bus caught fire.
   The official said scores of emergency workers in the region have been mobilized to help. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.
   Europe-1 radio reported that the bus was carrying primarily elderly people. It was not immediately clear how many people were on the bus, or their nationalities or other details.

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