Twelve people, all described early this morning as Portuguese, have been killed in an horrific minibus accident in central France.
According to reports in the French press picked up by the BBC, the minibus collided head-on with a lorry between the villages of Moulins and Montbeugny, “in the Allier department” just before midnight.
One of the dead is reported to be a child, travelling with his parents. Another has been described as a teenager.
The 19-year-old driver of the mini-bus and two Italians from the lorry survived the accident, with French reports saying both vehicle drivers tested negative for alcohol.
The minibus is described as having been on its way to Portugal from Switzerland.
The BBC report says “all the passengers were Portuguese”, while French press claims they were “mostly Portuguese”.
French authorities are now investigating the causes with signs for now simply pointing to the minibus having “swerved into the path of ongoing traffic”. The reason for the swerve is unclear, says the BBC.
The local RCEA (Route Centre-Europe Atlantique) road where the crash happened was still partially closed early this morning, while a nearby village hall was being used as a temporary mortuary.
Adding a few more details, Lusa reports that the ages of the dead range from 17 to 63, while CMTV says the child involved was aged 7. The minivan had left Switzerland at 9pm, added Lusa.