Hollande promises truth to bus crash families

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 promises truth to bus crash families
Hollande meets with local mayor Patricia Raichini, who lost family members in the crash last week. Photo: AFP

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 accident was the worst in France since 1982, when 53 people were killed in Beaune, central France. 44 of them were children.

(The bus left Petit-Palais-et-Cornemps, just seven minutes away from where the crash occurred. Photo: GoogleMaps)

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33 hurt after Paris to London Flixbus overturns in northern France

Thirty-three people were injured on Sunday, four seriously, when a bus travelling between Paris and London overturned in northern France while turning off a busy motorway, police said.

33 hurt after Paris to London Flixbus overturns in northern France
Photo: AFP

The Flixbus vehicle toppled on its side around midday (1100 GMT) as it took an exit from the A1 motorway, France's busiest route, a police statement said. 

There were 33 people on board, of whom 29 sustained light injuries and four were seriously wounded. Some of the injured were foreign nationals.

READ ALSO 'Cheap but poor customer care' – what readers think of Flixbus services

The statement did not say whether the bus was bound for London or for Paris. Rescue teams from the police, fire brigade, and ambulance service rushed to the scene.

The motorway exit has been closed, the statement said.

According to the newspaper “Courrier Picard”, the bus skidded in a curve on the wet road, crashed into a barrier and overturned.

It is yet another incident for the embattled German brand, with several crashes across Europe so far in 2019. 

READ: Seven people injured after two Flixbus accidents in Germany

In October, one person was killed and 17 injured when a Flixbus rolled in Southern France. 

Several people were injured in two separate crashes in Germany in June, while one person was killed and 60 injured in a crash in Switzerland in May.