Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference that “the identities of the 16 dead and two critically injured victims of Friday’s bus crash in Verona have yet to be determined”.
“There were 54 passengers and two drivers of Hungarian nationality in the bus. The passengers included 43 minors and 11 adults. According to official information, the accident claimed 16 lives and 6 people are being treated in hospital for injuries, two of whom are in critical condition”, he told the press.
“The two critically injured passengers have not yet been identified; one suffered third degree burns on over 60 percent of his body, while the other has undergone a major cranial operation”, he continued, adding that “according to the decision of the Italian doctors, the other four seriously injured victims could be transported home as early as Sunday by road or air, and the National Ambulance Service is ready to bring them home”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade also stated that the Italian authorities have already taken DNA samples from some of the victims and parents who have travelled to Verona, and according to the authorities their identification could take several days.
Mr. Szijjártó praised the work of the national Ambulance Service and the Italian healthcare, legal and transport authorities. “Eight colleagues from the Ministry are on site, including four from Milan and the Hungarian Ambassador to Rome, and the Minister of State for Public Administration will also be arriving there shortly”, he highlighted. “Transport home and the costs of accommodation in Italy are being paid for by the Hungarian Government”, he confirmed.
The Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that the Italian police had recorded eye witness accounts from everyone possible and the prosecutor’s office and police are expected to decide this afternoon on whether those involved are free to travel home, meaning they could already be coming home today. “A small group already travelled home on Saturday and were already given permission to do so by the authorities”, he said.
Mr. Szijjártó also mentioned that the leaders of several countries have expressed their condolences and the Slovakian Foreign Minister had offered to put the Slovakian Government’s aeroplane at Hungary’s disposal if required. The Hungarian Foreign Minister thanked Slovakia for the offer, but indicated that the National Ambulance Service is ready to bring the injured home.
In reply to a question, the Minister told reporters that the Italian authorities have not provided any information so far as to the cause of the accident, but experts have been assigned to the case and are currently examining the evidence.
Mr. Szijjártó was also asked whether it was true that an under 15 football player from the Kinizsi Futsal Club in Dunakeszi was also among the victims; the Foreign Minster told reporters he had spoken to the family.
A bus carrying Hungarian students suffered an accident near Verona, Italy on Friday night. 16 people were killed and more than twenty were injured in the crash. Travelling on the bus were students, alumni, teachers and the family of one of the teachers from the Szinyei Merse Pál Secondary School in Budapest.