UCC HAS CONFIRMED that three female students from the university were on a bus that crashed in Spain earlier today, killing at least 13 people.
The students were not among the fatalities.
One of the women is understood to be in hospital with an arm injury
UCC has 11 students participating in Erasmus programmes at the University of Barcelona. UCC’s International Office has made contact with the 11 students or their families to offer support.
In a statement, the university expressed its condolences to the families, friends and wider university communities of the students who died.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier confirmed that Irish people received non-life threatening injuries in the accident which left 13 people dead and 43 injured.
We stand ready to provide consular assistance
The motorway crash involved a bus, which was carrying foreign Erasmus students, in north-east Spain.
The students were enrolled at Barcelona University as part of the European Erasmus exchange programme, said Jordi Jane who heads interior matters for the Catalonia region.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it is aware of the situation.
The accident occurred near the small town of Freginals, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Barcelona as the bus was returning from a traditional festival in the eastern city of Valencia.
The driver “hit the railing on the right and swerved to the left so violently that the bus veered onto the other side of the highway,” Jane said.
The bus then hit a vehicle coming in the opposite direction, injuring two people inside, he added.
The bus was carrying 57 people in all, including the driver.
Of the 43 injured, 30 have been rushed to hospital, Jane said.
Spain’s northeastern Catalonia province says it has called in emergency rescue workers after the bus crashed on one of the region’s main highways, with at least 17 fire crews and a crane present.
The Spanish state broadcaster is reporting that at least 13 people have died in the deadly accident in Tarragona, with the majority aged between 22 and 29 years.
The report states that the bus driver crossed the motorway’s median before colliding head on with an oncoming vehicle.
It’s understood that the bus driver survived the accident.
The regional government statement says the bus crashed early today, at roughly 6am, on the AP7 highway that links Spain with France along the Mediterranean coast near Freginals, halfway between Valencia and Barcelona.
It said the bus, which belonged to a firm from the town of Mollet del Valles, just north of Barcelona, was reportedly carrying students back from a fireworks festival in Valencia when the accident occurred.
Originally published 10.18am
With reporting by Órla Ryan, AFP and AP