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France charges Spanish coach crash driver

French prosecutors on Monday charged a Spanish coach driver with reckless endangerment after he drove the vehicle under a low bridge, causing the roof to be shorn off and seriously injuring six passengers.

France charges Spanish coach crash driver
The coach carrying Spanish youngsters that crashed in France. Photo: AFP

The 59-year-old driver has been charged with causing “involuntary injuries” through “manifestly deliberate violation of a duty of care or safety”, Lille public prosecutor Frederic Fevre told AFP.

The coach was taking 53 Spanish youths and their chaperones to Amsterdam when the pre-dawn accident occurred outside Lille on Sunday.

The coach, with two drivers, was on lease from July 25 to August 1, during which time the holidaymakers were to lodge at a camping ground and make a number of excursions from Amsterdam.

The youths, aged between 18 and 29, had boarded the coach in the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao.

The entire top of the coach was shorn off in the accident, leaving 34 passengers in need of medical attention including six with serious injuries.

A Lille hospital source said their lives are not in danger.

Spain's ambassador to France visited the injured early Monday.

The driver, who had a reputation as a competent professional, faces further penalties because he did not have the right to drive on the road where the accident took place, Fevre said.

Fevre said he was devastated by the accident and insisted that he had followed his GPS navigator.

Police said the driver had not taken the normal route for unknown reasons.

Authorities said testing for alcohol or drugs had come up negative, while the coach's data recorder was taken for analysis.

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MILITARY

Stunt pilot killed as Spain’s ‘Eagle Patrol’ military plane crashes at sea

A Spanish military plane crashed on Monday off the southeastern coast and the pilot was killed.

Stunt pilot killed as Spain's 'Eagle Patrol' military plane crashes at sea
The plane was part of the Patrulla Águila acrobatic squad of the Spanish Air Force. Photo: MINISTERIO DE DEFENSA

The C-101 — the same aircraft used by Spain's air force Eagle Patrol aerobatics team — was on a “training flight” when it crashed near the resort of La Manga at 9.36am on Monday, a statement said.

At first reports suggested that the flight instructor on board the plane may have been “able to eject before the plane crashed in the sea” and rescue services were dispatched to search for him, the defence ministry said.

But emergency services in Murcia later confirmed that they had found the lifeless body of the pilot among the wreckage.

He was named as Francisco Marín Núñez.

 

A video filmed by a witness and posted on Twitter shows a small aircraft falling at a near vertical before trying to straighten up and hurtling into the water.   

?Confirmado el fallecimiento del piloto de avión del Ejército del Aire

⚫️Aún llegan restos del avión a la costa de La Manga del Mar Menor pic.twitter.com/8TrOJv9yS1

— Alejandro Melgares (@elentrometido) August 26, 2019

 

The plane came down near an air base outside the town of San Javier just off Galúa beach.

READ ALSO: German family among seven dead in mid-air collision in Mallorca 

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