German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun has stated that a medical aid plane is on standby to bring back the German tourists who were wounded in yesterdays (Wednesday 17.04) bus accident back to Germany. Earlier on this morning, the Chief of Staff explained that the identities of those who had died in the crash were still unclear and that information regarding the victims would only be released once the deceased relatives had been informed.
The German ambassador to Portugal, Christof Weil paid a brief visit to the Dr Nélio Mendonça Hospital, Funchal but refused to speak about the tragedy, saying that ‘he could not do it.’ During his visit, he talked to various medical and clinical directors before visiting each of his countrymen. At the moment there are still 16 wounded German tourists, the coach driver and the tour guide under medical supervision. Four are in intensive care, and eight are in orthopaedics. Thankfully, nine of the injured have already been discharged from hospital.
During his visit, Christof Weil was accompanied by Pedro Calado (Vice President of the Republic of Madeira), Pedro Ramos (Regional Secretary for Health) and Paula Cabaço (Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture).
It has also been confirmed that there was no alcohol in the drivers blood and that he has been operated on and is now out of danger. At the moment, it is thought that brake failure could be the cause of the accident. This is supported by the fact that there are no skid marks on the road, and that the driver may have tried to used the wall to help him slow down, evidence of which can be seen on the walls themselves.
info at madeira-weekly.com