Twenty-seven Easter pilgrims were killed on Wednesday (2 April) near Grenoble in France when their coach plunged into a mountain ravine.
GV ZOOM INTO MVS Crashed coach. (3 shots)
CU Scattered seats and other wreckage. (5 shots)
GV Upturned coach
CUS & GVS Villager being interviewed in French. (4 shots) SOF STARTS: "Il est..... (overlayed views of crash scene.) SOF ENDS: .....combine."
GV PAN Following path to wrecked coach. (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "How many accidents have there been here recently?"
VILLAGER: "There have been six lorries, not counting the motor cars. I can't count them all. I can't remember. There are always many accidents around here."
REPORTER: "How long have you been living here?" "Thirty-four years."
REPORTER: "Last year, there was another serious accident involving a Belgian coach. How many dead were there?"
VILLAGER: "I'm not sure. Forty-six, I think. Anyway, there were only six survivors."
"REPORTER: This time, how many? Twenty.......?"
VILLAGER: "This time? I don't know. I live near here, but I don't know."
EDITORS NOTE: The first 22 feet of this film are silent; the next 24 ft contain an interview, in French, with a resident near the crash scene. An england-language transcript follows:-
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Twenty-seven Easter pilgrims were killed on Wednesday (2 April) near Grenoble in France when their coach plunged into a mountain ravine.
Police said the coach's brakes had failed at the bottom of a steep hill where 43 Belgian tourists died in a similar accident in July, 1973. In this week's accident, 16 more pilgrims were injured seriously.
The pilgrims -- all from the village of Sully sur Loire in Central France -- were returning from an Easter pilgrimage to the church at nearby Notre Dame de la Salette, built where two children imported a vision of the Virgin Mary in the 19th Century.
Their coach hit a bridge at the bottom of the hill at the exact spot where a memorial stone of the Belgian accident victims was set into a wall two years ago. The memorial stone was sent crashing into the swift-flowing Romanche River along with the coach and its passengers.
A special speed recorder on the coach showed it suddenly picked up speed in the final 500 years (metres) of the hill, which ends in a sharp right-hand turn on to the bridge. The owner of the coach has been charged with manslaughter for failing to provide it with an automatic braking system.