Irish students confirmed on board bus involved in horror crash in Spain

The bus in which the students were travelling
The bus in which the students were travelling

AT LEAST 13 people are reported dead in a coach crash near the eastern Spanish city of Tarragona as local services coordinators confirmed students from Ireland and Britain were travelling on the crash coach.

The bus was travelling on the AP-7 motorway near Tarragona when the crash happened at about 6am local time.

The coach was carrying Erasmus students from several different countries who had been attending the annual Las Fallas festival in Valencia.

A spokesman for Emergencies Catalunya said the others were from Peru, Bulgaria, Poland, Palestine, Japan, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont announced two days of mourning following the coach crash.

Jordi Jane, a spokesman for the Catalonia province, said emergency rescue workers were still working to clear the wreckage that straddled the AP7 highway's central fence.

Local media initially reported that 14 of the coach passengers had been killed and that at least 30 others were seriously injured.

The coach is believed to have crossed the central reservation before crashing head-on with a car.

The bus driver is being held at a police station in the city of Tortosa, Mr Jane said.

Road conditions were good at the time of the crash and an investigation is looking into the cause of the accident, he said.

Mr Jane said most passengers on the bus were studying at two universities in Barcelona.

The Erasmus programme provides foreign exchange courses for students from countries within the 28-nation European Union and enables them to attend many of the continent's best universities.

Additional reporting by agencies