Coach owner in manslaughter probe after deadly Italy crash

August 1, 2013 10:39 am
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Workers remove the wreck of a bus on July 29, 2013 near Baiano, following a crash the day before on the road between Monteforte Irpino and Baiano, southern Italy/AFP
Workers remove the wreck of a bus on July 29, 2013 near Baiano, following a crash the day before on the road between Monteforte Irpino and Baiano, southern Italy/AFP

, ROME, August 1- Italian prosecutors are investigating the owner of a coach which plunged off a viaduct for possible manslaughter after reports that the vehicle may not have been road-worthy, judicial sources said Thursday.

Thirty eight people were killed in one of Europe’s worst road accidents when the coach rammed several cars after failing to brake on a bend, smashing through a highway crash barrier and plunging 30 metres (100 feet) down a slope.

Gennaro Lametta, head of the company which owns the coach and brother of the driver killed in Sunday’s accident, is one of three people under investigation in the probe, the sources were quoted by Italian media as saying.

The other two, who have not been named, work for the highway service company Autostrade.

Prosecutor Rosario Cantelmo in Avellino, a town in southern Italy close to the accident site, is probing the state of both the coach and the US imported Jersey concrete barrier which shattered on impact, leaving the bus to sail over the edge.

The crash happened in an area known as an accident black spot and investigators are also looking into whether the barrier was high enough to withstand impact with larger vehicles.

The vehicle, made in 1995, had more than 800,000 kilometres (500,000 miles) on the clock and bits of the transmission were reported to have fallen off before the accident, possibly slicing through the brake tubes, Italian media said.

Italy held a day of mourning on Tuesday for the victims, as relatives wept over their coffins at a mass funeral near Naples.

The coach crash was the deadliest in western Europe in the last decade and the worst in the continent since an October 2010 accident in Ukraine when 45 people died.

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