A collision between a bus and a truck has caused the deaths of at least 42 people in southwestern France, according to reports. The exact cause of the crash is still unknown.
A major accident occurred on a highway near the village of Puisseguin near Bordeaux, resulting in the deaths of at least 42 people, news agencies reported on Friday.
The accident ocurred after a bus and a truck collided. Local officials said that 41 of the victims had been on board the bus, while the driver of the truck was also killed. The bus driver survived the accident.
Those on the bus were elderly people from the region who were on a day trip, the Interior Ministry said.
Eight passengers managed to escape after the bus caught fire.
Officials express their condolences
Prime Minister Valls was among those who visited the site of the crash, the worst in France in several decades. He also took to Twitter to express his condolences.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Transport Minister Alain Vidalies also rushed to the site. A local official told reporters that an investigation was underway to find out why the accident occurred.
Following the news, French President Francois Hollande delivered a statement from Greece, where he is particpating in a state visit, assuring the public that the government is "fully mobilized" to deal with the "horrible tragedy."
One resident told a French TV channel that the crash happened at a turn known for being dangerous, the AFP news agency reported.
blc/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)