Albania: 14 die, 12 injured in bus drop off cliff

July 17, 2010 12:24:10 PM PDT
Fourteen people died and 12 others were injured, many of them seriously, Saturday at about 1700 local time (1600 GMT) when a bus fell off a cliff 140 kilometers (87 miles) north of the capital, Tirana, Albanian authorities said. Police official Hysni Burgaj said a sudden downpour caused the accident.

Authorities still did not know the total number of bus passengers late Saturday.

The bus fell 30 to 40 meters (yards) off a cliff in Dom Gjegjan village, in the district of Puka, police said. The injured were brought to hospitals in the Albanian capital, Tirana, and the northern city of Shkodra.

President Bamir Topi and Prime Minister Sali Berisha visited the injured at the Tirana hospital and promised urgent assistance.

The government has declared Sunday a day of national mourning, with flags flying at half-mast.