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Pilgrims’ bus crashes, burns; 26 die

Mon., July 23, 2007

GRENOBLE, France – A bus carrying Polish Catholic pilgrims from a holy site in the French Alps plunged off a mountain road, crashed into a riverbank and burst into flames Sunday, killing 26 people, authorities said.

Fourteen others were seriously injured in the wreck on a dangerous stretch of road where bus accidents have killed dozens of people. Firefighters said the bus did not have the special permit required to use the 12 percent gradient road.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Grenoble late Sunday to meet with the injured. Sarkozy said he was “shattered by the scale of the tragedy” and pledged to follow closely the investigation into the cause of the accident.


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