Twenty Killed in Deadly German Bus Blaze | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 05.11.2008
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Twenty Killed in Deadly German Bus Blaze

Twenty people were killed and 12 injured when a tour bus caught fire on a German freeway near Hanover. It's the country's worst bus accident in over 15 years.

Bus accident near Hanover

The fire completely gutted the tour bus

Twenty people were killed, most of them elderly, when the tour bus they were traveling in burst into flames near the northern German city of Hanover Tuesday evening, Nov. 4.

The fire is believed to have broken out in the bus' bathroom, quickly engulfed the bus. Twenty passengers were not able to get out quickly enough. Twelve survived, some with severe injuries.

After an initial investigation, authorities suspect the fire may have been started by a cigarette in the bathroom. The exact cause, however, had not yet been determined.

More than 150 fire fighters and police officers were called to the scene of the accident. The charred bus, with the bodies still inside, was transported to Hanover, where the victims would be identified Wednesday by daylight.

Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee expressed his deep sympathy to the relatives of the victims. The cause of the accident should be examined "very carefully," adding that it must be examined whether security regulations were observed on the bus and if they needed to be tightened.