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Over 30 Slovak students injured in bus crash on Austrian highway

A CZECH bus carrying Slovak students on a return trip from a holiday in Italy crashed in the Styria area of Austria on Sunday, June 21. Over 30 people were injured in the accident and three persons are reported to be in serious condition, Slovak Foreign Ministry's spokesman Ján Škoda told the SITA newswire.

A CZECH bus carrying Slovak students on a return trip from a holiday in Italy crashed in the Styria area of Austria on Sunday, June 21. Over 30 people were injured in the accident and three persons are reported to be in serious condition, Slovak Foreign Ministry's spokesman Ján Škoda told the SITA newswire.

The Slovak Health Ministry sent its crisis intervention team to the Austrian hospitals that received the Slovak patients after the bus accident. It was the same team of psychologists that helped after the tragic accident in Polomka in Slovakia involving a bus and a train in February 2009, the ministry's spokesperson Zuzana Čižmáriková said.

Health Minister Richard Raši also went to the scene of the accident.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico offered the government's special plane should there be a need for that.

The Slovak Interior Ministry is ready to provide any kind of aid necessary.

The accident happened around 6:00 on Sunday on the A2 highway between Mooskirchen and Lieboch in the direction of Graz. The bus went off the road and overturned. The police are assuming that the bus driver fell asleep while driving.

The bus had two Czech drivers and was carrying 40 Slovak students, aged 15 to 20, who attend a private business school in Senica, along with their five teachers. They were returning from a school trip to Italy and had left Riccione, Italy on Saturday night at 22:00.

According to the public service TV channel STV, 18 of the Slovak students are hospitalised in Graz. They are in stable condition and their lives are not under threat. Most of the students have scratches and broken bones, said Karin Brániková, a member of the intervention team, as reported by SITA.

The travel agency from Třebíč in the Czech Republic that owned the bus sent another bus to the place of the accident to drive students who did not need to be hospitalised home. Some of the students were also picked up by their parents who had been informed about their children by the hospitals where they were treated.

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