Death toll rises in tour bus accident

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A Swiss man in his 50s who was critically injured in a tour bus crash in Nord-Trøndelag on Tuesday died Wednesday at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim. His injuries were so massive that he’d been flown from the hospital closest to the accident site to St Olavs, but doctors couldn’t save his life.

His death brings the number killed in the crash to four, with another 11 passengers and the driver of the bus injured. The driver has been charged with reckless driving pending results of an investigation into the accident in which the bus carrying Swiss tourists suddenly started swerving along the E6 highway near Namsos, ran off the road and crashed into the mountainside.

Injured already heading home
The other victims include a 56-year-old woman and two men aged 72 and 78, all Swiss citizens, according to Kjetil Ravlo of the Nord-Trøndelag Police District.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that nine of the 17 people on the bus, including those treated for injuries, would be driven on Wednesday from Namsos to Trondheim’s airport at Værnes, from which they will be flown home to Switzerland in a chartered jet.

Svein Karlsen of the regional medical authority Helse Nord-Trøndelag told NRK that three other passengers with more serious injuries will also be flown home, accompanied by medical personnel.

Driver in intensive care
The driver of the bus remained in the intensive care ward at the Namsos hospital on Wednesday. Karlsen said he would remain in the hospital for another day or two before being sent to a Swiss hospital, despite the charges pending against him.

Local county governor Inge Ryan said travel arrangements were being made by “hard-working” officials at the Swiss Embassy, who faced major challenges because the crash victims and those injured come from various towns and cities spread around Switzerland and one was from Germany.

Ryan said the Swiss officials had expressed gratitude for the emergency response from Norwegian police and medical personnel. He also met with several of the patients in the Namsos hospital to express his condolences. “They have lost three of their friends and are very shaken by this traumatic experience,” Ryan told NRK, adding that the Swiss officials aimed to get them all home by Thursday.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund