Many injured in Polish coach crash in Germany

At least 35 people were injured, six of them seriously, when a Polish coach travelling from Warsaw to Belgium crashed near Magdeburg in Germany.

The coach, which was travelling on the A2 motorway, veered out of its lane, fell into a ditch and overturned.

German police told MDR Sachsen-Anhalt radio the accident had occurred in the early hours of Friday, and assistance from the fire brigade was required to release some of the passengers.

The injured were transported to nearby hospitals, MDR said.

The Polish embassy in Berlin has told PAP that many passengers were injured in the accident, including Polish citizens. According to German police, none of the people sustained life-threatening injuries.

Bogdan Kurys, deputy CEO of tour operator Sindbad, owner of the coach, said the accident happened at about 3:15 a.m. and that the coach was travelling on its regular route between Warsaw and Belgium.

"A dozen or so kilometres past Magdeburg, on the A2 motorway, the coach left its lane for unknown reasons and overturned," Kurys said. "Police are investigating the cause of the incident."

"According to police, about 20 people have been offered medical assistance, including six that will likely be taken to hospital to undergo further examination," Kurys also said. "A replacement coach is on its way and should take the passengers to continue their journey at about 8:00 a.m."

Lukasz Jasina, Poland's Foreign Ministry spokesman, told PAP that 35 people had been injured in the crash and that no-one's life was in danger.

Sixty people, not only Polish citizens, but also Ukrainian and Belarusian nationals, were passengers on the coach.

Dariusz Pawlos, Poland's ambassador in Berlin, said that "this is a sad day for us, we are very sorry, but on the other hand we are also glad that no one was killed."

"It must be said that the German services always operate efficiently and professionally," noted the ambassador and added that Polish consuls also appeared at the scene of the accident to provide appropriate assistance.