Spanish transport authorities have ordered an immediate investigation into the cause of Tuesday's (10 April) bus crash in north-west Spain which killed an estimated 45 schoolchildren and four adults.
GV Rescue work in progress at bridge near crash at Benavente
GV Damaged railing of bridge PULL OUT TO swollen river (4 shots)
GV Rescue workers hauling on ropes in water as rubber dinghy with divers survey are (2 shots)
GV Heavy crane and lifting equipment at site
SV Divers trying to connect crane cable to submerged coach
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Background: Spanish transport authorities have ordered an immediate investigation into the cause of Tuesday's (10 April) bus crash in north-west Spain which killed an estimated 45 schoolchildren and four adults. The accident happened as the bus crossed the swollen River Orbigo near the town of Benavente.
SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday (11 April) rescue workers who had toiled through the night were still working at the scene. Crowds of spectators watched from the banks of the swollen river.
Eyewitnesses and survivors of the accident said the bus was travelling slowly when it went out of control at the bridge and hit a railing. They said it then careered across the road and toppled into the river. Police said nine children and a soldier who had hitchhiked a ride escaped through the shattered windscreen before the bus sank.
The schoolchildren, aged between twelve and fourteen years, had been on a holiday excursion to Madrid and Toledo and were on their way home to Vigo in Galicia when the bus crashed. Among those believed dead were the driver and three teachers. Divers worked in twelve metres of water in an effort to locate wreckage and bodies.
Two cranes were brought in to, help probe the murky waters and rescue workers were later hoping to make an attempt at hauling the bus from the river. Less than four months ago thirty children were killed when their school bus was cut in two by a railway engine near the city of Salamanca in western Spain.