Iceland coach crash investigation continues, victims set to return home

The tourist coach which ran off the road in North Iceland on Wednesday evening had newly received its safety certificate and was correctly licensed and maintained, according to the travel agent using it, Ferdakompaniid.

A press release from Ferdakompaniid adds that the driver of the coach was correctly licensed and has been a coach driver for many years. Neither the owners of the vehicle nor the driver had drawn attention to anything wrong with the coach’s wheels, brakes or engine before the accident took place. The Mercedes coach is 28 years-old and is fitted with seatbelts. It is thought the coach is beyond repair.

The statement says the company’s staff members are very upset and anxious over the accident.

First indications from police investigators are that the coach’s brakes failed; but the investigation has not made any formal conclusions yet.

Ferdakompaniid president, Bertrand Jouanne and colleagues flew to Akureyri as soon as possible after the accident to assist the French and Swiss victims. Jouanne thanked rescue workers for their good work under difficult circumstances.

He said that relatives in France and Switzerland have been contacted and the legal rights of the tourists are being assessed, including repatriation, diplomatic services and travel insurance claims.

The passengers, several with broken bones, are expected to be flown home direct from Akureyri by air ambulance as soon as possible. Only one passenger needed intensive care treatment in Reykjavik, and she has now been moved to a normal ward to recover.

Photo: RÚ