It should be a happy-lively excursion to Funchal, the capital of the picturesque “flower island” of Madeira. On the holidaymakers of a typical Madeiran Dinner with culinary specialties of the Region, waited in a local Restaurant. From the charming Hotel Quinta Splendida in the Village of Caniço, the group broke up in the early evening with a coach in the a few kilometres away, Local. However, only a short time later, the journey ended in tragedy: In a drop curve to the left ends of the fully occupied Bus suddenly came from the road, through a railing broke, overturned and fell about eight meters in depth.

The terrible balance sheet: 29 people – including probably most of them from Germany – lose just before Easter of your life. Almost as many are injured, some very severely. The tourists have booked the tour with a German tour operator, it was not a solid group, but holidaymakers from all over Germany, said an employee of the hotel.

accident on the holiday island

Bus disaster in Madeira: 29 German tourists are killed

DPA 29 people come to Madeira killed

Madeira is quiet these days. It is pre-season, the tourist flow from. But it is green and blooming already in all the corners – not in vain botany-Fans for the colourful island of delight. Due to the subtropical climate, prevailing year-round pleasant temperatures, the cold-ridden German leave in the direction of the mild Hiking Paradise. In addition to the Algarve, Madeira is regarded as the most popular holiday region of Portugal.

Two days before good Friday but there is on the island of Madeira shower of rain, much Wind, and temperatures below 20 degrees. This is the typical April day, the fate for the more than five dozen holiday-makers. Your Bus is coming after the disaster until the Moment lying on the side to a standstill, as he bounces on the red tile roof of a residential building, it is at this time, fortunately uninhabited. 28 people die immediately, another 28 are injured. A woman succumbs to a short time later of her injuries. The driver and the tour guide – both from Portugal – a survival, and should be treated in the hospital.

“there’s nothing You can do, you can only cry”

eye-witnesses of the accident are minutes in a daze on the embankment. It had been a “deafening silence”, “a scream from silence, as in a state of shock,” said Rita Castro, who had watched the Events according to their own information from the area, in the Portuguese television. The driver had previously tried every means to prevent the accident and to bring the coach to a halt, what he could not do it.

another eyewitness told the German press Agency, the Bus was “relatively slow” on-the-go, then there was a loud Bang. “Within ten minutes cars were sick on the spot,” the woman says, and adds deeply affected: “there’s nothing You can do, you can only cry”.

bus accident on the island of Madeira

The “island of flowers” is in shock – there is a first suspicion for the cause of the disaster


With dozens of cars the rescuers-to-back. The accident site is distant and closed off. The injured are rescued and brought into safety, the dead with towels covered. “It was immediately looking for people on the island who speak English. Although the Doctors and nurses try touching the injured and take care of, but it is not always important, however, to hear the native language and to get a few words of attention,” said Ilse Everlien Berardo, pastor of the German Evangelical Church on the island of Madeira, in the RTL show “Good Morning Germany” on Thursday.

the identification of victims will take to

“An injured lady said, I think I lost my life partner. It is also, of course, in a state of shock,” said Berardo, who was full of praise for the sensitivity of the use of force.

Caniço on the day after. Police officers back at the scene of the accident. You collect and search ID cards of the passengers. Because still it is not clear whether all the Victims were German. Other security forces to sweep up the shards or try an entrained current line up. People in the vicinity, many of them have tears in the eyes.

The Unglücksbus is not visible, it has already been recovered. Back to the remains of the roof of the measures taken, the house collapsed. On a wall under the gaping hole of a cross. Of the inhabitants was, at the time of accident in the case of Relatives – a stroke of luck for the man, the only one that has survived the tragedy unscathed.

rw / Carola Frentzen / Alexander storm / DPA