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Four die in bus accident in eastern Finland

A bus plunged off a bridge in the eastern city of Kuopio, eastern Finland on Friday afternoon, claiming the lives of four people.

Poliiseja onnettomuuspaikalla.
The bus was carrying 20 passengers when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. Image: Timo Hartikainen / Lehtikuva

Four people died when the bus in which they were travelling plunged off a bridge on to a train track in Kuopio Friday afternoon.

The bus was heading south along Highway 5 when a technical malfunction caused the vehicle to swerve off a bridge onto rail tracks below.

The Eastern Finland Police Department tweeted that in addition to the bus, five passenger cars were also involved in the crash.

Rail traffic in the area was suspended and according to police the motorway around junction 67 and surrounding roads were closed.

The accident occurred around 3.00pm. Preliminary reports say the bus was carrying approximately 20 passengers, four of whom died. Police said that 19 people were taken to the Kuopio University Hospital for treatment.

”The bus climbed a ramp in Levänen while travelling from north to south. Eyewitnesses say the bus was moving very fast and swerving on two wheels. It did not continue onto the motorway but rammed through several cars waiting at a traffic light and off the bridge” says Yle reporter on-scene Marianne Mattila.

Kuopio University Hospital communications director Varpu Puskala said the institution was put on high alert.

"Nineteen injured were brought into the hospital, three of whom were seriously hurt. Those on call here will continue their work as long as needed. Operation rooms are on full stand-by to receive patients, as is the intensive care unit."

Officials from the Safety Investigation Authority have launched an investigation into the incident.

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