Inquiry into speeding allegation in coach tragedy

The findings of an inquiry into an allegation that the driver of the coach that plunged into a ravine near Sertã, Castelo Branco district, causing the death of 11 passengers and injury to 33 others, was exceeding the 50kms per hour speed limit, was expected to be announced this week by the Ministério Público.

The move follows an inspection of the vehicle’s tachograph which reveals the exact speed it was travelling when it hit a mound on the wet road and crashed through a barrier on a bend on the IC8 motorway last weekend.

The bus, which had Spanish licence plates, was travelling from Portalegre to Santa Maria da Feira.

Meanwhile, the driver of the coach is in hospital in Castelo Branco and, according to the press, can remember very little detail of the accident.

He was said to be conscious and stable but “psychologically traumatised”. Five passengershospitalised with serious injuries were all aged more than 47 and were suffering from fractures, or thoracic and abdominal traumatism. One of them required surgery.

A team of psychologists have been helping the victims of the disaster and the mayor of Portalegre municipality Adelaide Teixeira has visited those in hospital, as well as survivors who escaped serious injury.