A tour bus has crashed in Portugal, killing at least 29 people and injuring dozens, authorities said.
The incident occurred Wednesday evening on the island of Madeira, a destination known as the pearl of the Atlantic. The bus was swerved off a winding street in the coastal town of Caniço and then tumbled down a hill.
By the Thursday morning, according to Lusa News Agency, nine people who were injured in a crash were discharged from a local hospital, while 18 remained in care.
A Portuguese man and woman are among the injured, Tomasia Alves, head of the Funchal Hospital, told reporters on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
Heiko Maas, the German minister of foreign affairs, announced that he would fly to Madeira on Thursday with doctors, psychologists and consular officers. He planned to speak to people who were affected by the crash.
Many of the victims were said to have been between 40 and up to the age of 40 and 50 years old
"It's with sadness and dismay that I think of our compatriots and all the other people who were affected by the terrible bus accident in Madeira," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement posted on Twitter by spokesman Steffen Seibert
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa expressed his regrets to the families and he conveyed his condolences to Merkel.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the crash. Pedro Calado, vice president of the island's regional government, told reporters that the bus was five years old and had passed inspections, according to AP.
The company, which owns the vehicle, Madeira Automobile Society, reportedly vowed its "deep commitment "to uncovering the" facts, causes and responsibilities "that led to a fatal bus ride.