Around 60 injured in Polish coach crash in Germany

A serious accident involving a Polish coach and two trucks occurred on Tuesday on the A12 autobahn connecting Poland and Berlin.

At first, the number of injured was reported as 18 but has since risen to around 60 according to the German Autobahnpolizei (Highway Patrol).

Preliminary information states that a truck heading towards Berlin attempted to switch lanes. It hit a truck in front and collided with the side of the coach, the German newspaper Bild reported.

The German police have also said that one of the trucks was a dangerous goods vehicle, "Cargo: fuel," wrote the Bild on its website. Initially it was not known whether the truck was carrying fuel at the time of the accident.

Spokesman for the National Police Headquarters, Insp. Mariusz Ciarka, told PAP that the crash took place several dozen kilometres beyond the Polish border.

"In the Lubuskie Region, a police centre of operations has been launched to coordinate and exchange information with the German side," Ciarka said.

"By the decision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Police, Polish police officers were sent to the site to support rescue operations," the Police Headquarters spokesman added.

According to PAP, several policemen went to the scene of the Polish bus accident in order to help their German colleagues secure the site and assist Poles injured in the crash.

According to unconfirmed information received by PAP, some of the injured passengers are to be transported to Polish hospitals.

In the afternoon, Polish consuls from Berlin arrived at the scene, they are in constant contact with local services and are providing necessary assistance to injured Polish citizens, Magdalena Szuber-Zasacka, spokeswoman for the embassy in Berlin, told PAP.

"We have unconfirmed information that the owner of the coach is a private company based in Warsaw," she added.

Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzelski, speaking in the afternoon, said that "we have information about 56 injured people of which at the moment, I must emphasise, two or three are seriously injured."

The minister also added that 34 injured people have been transported or are being transported to three hospitals in Germany.