UK & World News
Students Killed As Bus Plunges Into Ravine
Thirteen people have been killed and 22 injured after a bus carrying university students on a pre-graduation trip drove off a cliff into a ravine in southern Albania.
University officials said two buses had been taking 75 third-year language and literature students and three professors from Aleksander Xhuvani University in the city of Elbasan on a trip to the southern city of Saranda.
One of the coaches, carrying 33 people, fell 80 metres off the road near the town of Himare, 137 miles south of the capital, Tirana, police spokeswoman Klejda Plangarica said.
The cause of the crash is unclear. Albanian media have quoted one of the passengers and a resident near the crash site as claiming the bus had been going very fast.
Albania's transport minister also said the road had been recently repaired.
Fourteen of the injured students were flown by helicopter to Tirana's military hospital where they remain in serious condition.
The bus driver is believed to be among those killed.
The country's prime minister, Sali Berisha, has sent condolences to the victims' families, speaking from Chicago where he is attending a Nato summit.
President Bamir Topi and main opposition Socialist party leader Edi Rama visited the hospital and Mr Rama donated blood for the injured.
The government has declared a national day of mourning on Tuesday, with flags at half-mast and public television broadcasting classical music.
It has also pledged to pay all funeral expenses.