Police: 18 people likely dead in German bus crash

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BERLIN (AP) — German police say they believe that 18 people died in a Bavarian bus accident after the bus rammed into a truck and burst into flames.

Bavarian police say 30 others were injured, some seriously, and were brought to hospitals for treatment. The others, they said in a statement Monday, “are believed to have died on the burning bus.”

Police spokeswoman Irene Brandenstein says the bus was carrying a German senior citizens’ tour group.

Authorities said that forensic specialists were being brought in from Germany’s federal police office to remove and identify the bodies from the charred vehicle.

The accident took place around 7 a.m. (0500GMT) when the bus rear-ended the truck at the end of a traffic jam on the A9 highway near Muenchberg in Bavaria, near the Czech border. The highway remained closed on both sides for hours.

Police say a group of people from Saxony in eastern Germany was aboard the bus.

Oberfranken police tweeted that family members could call a special number for further information on the accident.

German news channel n-tv showed footage of the bus which was burned down to a black, smoking skeleton.

Two drivers and 46 people and were on the bus, police spokeswoman Irene Brandenstein said.

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