UPDATED NOV 13, 2019 AT 21:00

UPDATED: Road accident near Nitra claims 12 lives

Pellegrini is considering a national mourning on Friday.

(Source: TASR)

A total of 12 people, including four minors, were killed following a road accident near the Malanta settlement, close to Nitra, on November 13. Another 17 were injured, three of them seriously.

The preliminary information suggests that the accident, which belongs to the worst tragedies in the history of Slovakia, was caused by an overloaded truck, which crashed into the oncoming bus. It hit the back, and the bus, carrying mostly young people who were returning home from school, ended up in a ditch, the TASR newswire reported.

All rescue forces, including helicopters, arrived to the scene where a bus and a truck crashed. The road between Nitra and Zlaté Moravce is currently closed.

Twenty people were transported to hospitals. The Nitra hospital took eight people, including five in serious condition, while another six, including one in serious condition, were sent to Nové Zámky. Another three, including one in serious condition, were treated in Levice. One person was taken to the hospital in Banská Bystrica, and one to Topoľčany. One patient is in a medically-induced coma and his life is in danger, the SITA newswire reported.

This is the worst road accident that has occurred in Slovakia since 2009, when 12 lives were claimed after a train and a bus collided near Polomka (Banská Bystrica Region).

Politicians send their condolences

“The report about the tragic crash of a bus and a truck provokes deep grief in all of us,” President Zuzana Čaputová wrote in a Facebook post. “Our minds are with the parents who have lost their children and their close ones. We are also thinking about the injured and hope they will receive the best help and treatment possible. We all hope the number of victims will not increase. After such a tragedy, I’m begging everybody to drive carefully and thoughtfully, so that we can safely return to our families.”

PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) ended his foreign trip to Cyprus and is on his way home. He expressed his deep condolences for the affected families.

“It’s one of the biggest road accidents in our history, with a large number of victims,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR.

He might declare a state mourning. The government will meet to discuss the matter on November 14, while the mourning may be set for November 15, TASR wrote.

Several other politicians have expressed their deepest condolences as well, while some ministers arrived to the scene of the crash.

Czech President Miloš Zeman and Hungarian President János Áder also sent their condolences to their Slovak counterpart, while Pellegrini received a telegram from his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán, TASR wrote.

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