Bus carrying tourists crashes into Bucharest's Unirii underpass railing, killing one
A bus carrying 47 passengers, many of them tourists from Greece, smashed into the railing of Bucharest's Unirii underpass last Friday, December 23. One man, 55, died, and 21 others were injured.
The bus, which was too tall to pass through the tunnel, was caught in the railing, which crashed on the top of the vehicle, causing it to bend. Nine people were taken to the hospital. Five Greek tourists were hospitalized after suffering concussions from the accident.
Greek media cited by Digi24 says that the bus departed with two drivers, but one got food poisoning and had to get off in Thessaloniki, forcing the remaining driver to go on for 16 hours alone. When questioned by the Bucharest traffic police, the driver said he didn't see the signs before the underpass. His case will be taken over by the Greek judiciary.
Video of the incident shows the bus carrying the Greek tourists crashing into the height limiter at the entrance to the underpass. Although the vehicle had a speed of approximately 40 km/h, the impact was intense due to its load and size. The railing bends the bus in half, injuring passengers.
Bucharest's Unirii underpass is in the centermost area of the capital and recently went through a EUR 12 million makeover handled by District 4 City Hall. Since the renovation, however, numerous accidents have taken place. Trucks have smashed either into the railing signaling the height limit of vehicles that can safely pass through, or remained caught in the tunnel itself.
Former minister of transportation and leader of the opposition party USR, Cătălin Drulă, says that accidents of the sort did not happen before the renovation and that the modifications reduced the height of the tunnel, a fact District 4 officials cover up. He argues that before the renovation, the tunnel measured 3.8-4.0 meters, while the current railing limits the trucks that can pass to 3.5 meters.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/George Calin)