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Albania bus crash kills 14

Albania's government has declared a day of national mourning after authorities said 14 people died when a bus plunged from a cliff about 140 kilometers (80 miles) north of the capital Tirana.

Road in rural Albania

Road accidents are common in Albania, but the high death toll has caused shock

The bus fell some 30 to 40 meters off a cliff in the district of Puka at about 17 pm local time on Saturday. Authorities said at least 12 people had been injured, many seriously.

Police spokeswoman Klejda Plangarica said that the bus had been traveling in “rough weather conditions” at the time of the accident.

Police chief Hysni Burgaj said a sudden downpour had been the cause of the accident as search operations continue in the hilly terrain.

Death toll could rise

Sources at a military hospital in Tirana said the toll could rise further because four people, including three children, were in a serious condition.

Six helicopters were dispatched to fetch the wounded to Tirana and the northern city of Shkodra.

President Bamir Topi and Prime Minister Sali Berisha visited the injured in hospital in Tirana.

Sunday was declared a day of national mourning for the victims of the accident, according to government spokeswoman Erla Mehilli.

Richard Connor (AFP/Reuters/AP)
Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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