FOURTEEN Slovak tourists were killed in the early morning on September 7 in what’s been called the worst traffic accident in the history of the country’s tourism industry. The accident involved a tour bus travelling from Košice to Croatia, and occurred on the section of highway linking Zagreb and Split. Nineteen other, mostly elderly, passengers were taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Croatian police are investigating the accident, in which the bus smashed into a concrete section of an overpass near Mogorič. The 22 injured Slovaks were rushed to a local hospital in Gospić, while three passengers in critical condition were taken to Dubrava, a hospital in Zagreb, the SITA newswire wrote.
The same day, the Slovak government dispatched a plane to collect the 14 injured who were in good enough condition to travel. Shortly before 9:00 pm, they were hospitalised at the Pasteur Teaching Hospital in Košice, Slovak Health Minister Richard Raši told SITA.
Raši flew to Croatia to visit the seriously injured while psychologists tended to the relatives of the deceased.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš, who was aboard the government plane, refused to speculate about the cause of the accident.
“We have to wait for the results of the investigation,” he said, as quoted by SITA. “The bus has been transported for checks to figure out its technical condition.”
The trip had been organised by an aerobics club in Košice.