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Italy mourns victims of coach accident

ROME, July 30 — Relatives and friends on Tuesday attended a mass funeral for victims of the Italian coach accident that killed 38 and seriously injured 10.

Around 4,000 people filled a stadium in the small southern town of Pozzuoli in Campania region on Tuesday, which was declared a national day of mourning by Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Letta attended services along with various ministers, political leaders and local authorities.

"This is a tragedy that has cut my heart in two," Pozzuoli mayor Vincenzo Figliolia said.

"We must make sure that their deaths are not in vain. Something did not work, someone was responsible. We must find clarity and I am sure we will," he said.

Prosecutors said they were investigating the conditions of the bus, the highway and the driver who was among the dead. They said they were drafting a list of possible "suspects" of manslaughter and may also investigate the corporation that manages the highway.

The vehicle fell some 30 meters from a bridge overnight Sunday with 48 friends returning from a weekend excursion on board. The youngest victim was reportedly 16, the oldest 88. Some little children were among the injured.

According to police sources quoted by local media, a mechanical failure could have been the cause of the crash. The driver appeared to suddenly have lost control of his vehicle, which struck several cars traveling on the highway and tore away large chunks of concrete barriers before landing in a ravine.

Some eyewitnesses said that the bus was traveling "at high speed and with the front door open or missing," and there were no skid marks indicating that the driver had braked. (PNA/Xinhua)


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