Eighteen people have died and two others remain in “grave danger” following a bus crash in Germany, according to the Bavarian Interior Ministry.
Thirty other people suffered injuries in the Monday morning crash, a statement from the local authority said.
Earlier, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters that emergency services had recovered 11 bodies from the crash in Bavaria. After the collision, the bus caught on fire and the flames were “so strong that only steel parts” were still recognizable, Dobrindt added.
The collision occurred at 7 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) on the A9 road in the eastern part of the country, near Nuremberg.
Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for the German government, said Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed her great dismay at the incident.
“We know there are a large number of killed and many injured. In these hours our thoughts are with the families of the victims and of course we wish all those who were injured a speedy recovery from the bottom of our hearts,” Seibert tweeted in the aftermath of the incident.
He added, “We want to thank the first responders,” saying their work is vital in tragic situations like the bus crash.