National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

At least 38 pilgrims killed in crash after visiting Padre Pio shrine

 | 
Vatican City

At least 38 pilgrims were killed on their way home from the Padre Pio shrine when their bus plunged off an elevated highway.

Another 19 people were reported seriously injured, including passengers of nearby vehicles. Only 11 people were pulled alive from the wreckage, Vatican Radio and other news outlets reported.

The accident occurred Sunday along a major highway in Irpinia, a mountainous region in Campania, in southern Italy. A number of the victims were children.

A tour bus of about 50 pilgrims was heading back to Naples after a three-day pilgrimage to Catholic shrines, including Pietralcina, birthplace of Padre Pio.

The bus driver lost control, skidded along concrete barriers until it broke through a guardrail and plunged 100 feet off the highway.

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

While the cause of the accident was still unknown Monday, officials said a piece of the bus' transmission was found less than a mile from the crash site, suggesting the vehicle was damaged in some way. Police on the scene also hypothesized that the driver had veered too sharply in an effort to avoid crashing into cars in front of the bus.

However, one surviving passenger said a tire on the left side of the bus had blown, causing the vehicle to swerve out of control.

The funerals for all 38 victims were to be held Tuesday in the town of Pozzuoli.

Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli blessed the deceased when he visited the elementary school gym of Monteforte Irpino, where their remains were waiting to be taken home.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.