Hollande meets with local mayor Patricia Raichini, who lost family members in the crash last week. Photo: AFP
France's President Francois Hollande led a ceremony on Tuesday in honour of the 43 victims of last week's bus and truck collision.
Hollande spoke at a memorial for the 43 bus crash victims on Tuesday in the town of Puisseguin, south western France, where Friday's accident occurred.
The president, who was joined by the prime minister and five other ministers, promised "the truth" to the families of the victims, who were mostly pensioners but who also included a three-year-old boy.
"The entire country has been affected by this catastrophe. We all share the weight of your grief," he said, reported Le Parisien.
(Hollande speaks to local community members on Tuesday. Photo: AFP)
Hollande also praised the work of the investigators, promising a thorough job in the identification of the bodies and the explanations for the crash.
"We will not stop the search for the truth, and I refuse to give way to any rumours. I can assure you that everything will be done to analyze the reasons behind the fire."
Patricia Raichini, the mayor of nearby Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps, was also on hand after losing three sister-in-laws in the crash.
"These people will live on in our collective memory," she told the crowd, that was estimated at 160 people.
(Hollande speaks to police officials on Tuesday. Photo: AFP)
The accident saw the bus crash into a jack-knifed truck on a blind corner of a country road, a collision so powerful that both vehicles were immediately engulfed in flames. It was the fire that killed most of the passengers, with only eight escaping with their lives.
The two passengers on board the truck, a man and his toddler son, both died at the scene.
(The bus left Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps, just seven minutes away from where the crash occurred. Photo: GoogleMaps)