Romania bus crash toll in Montenegro rises to 18

Eighteen Romanians perished when their bus plunged into a ravine in Montenegro, police said Monday, one of the deadliest road accidents in the tiny Adriatic republic.

The initial death toll of 16 from Sunday's crash rose overnight after two people succumbed to their injuries, a police official told AFP, while another 30 people were injured.

The bus, carrying mostly elderly passengers, slid off the road into a gorge in a mountainous region near the river Moraca some 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the capital Podgorica.

"This is a huge tragedy for Romania," the country's health secretary Raed Arafat told reporters in Podgorica, adding that military planes would be arriving on Tuesday to take home the victims.

It is not known if the driver is among the dead or injured.

"The driver drove a little too fast and the bus slid," a survivor Carmen Dorobet told Montenegrin media.

Arafat said that out of 29 survivors on the bus, seven were in intensive care, including two who were in coma.

A 12-year old Montenegrin boy was also injured when the bus struck him as he was walking along the road.

Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean cancelled his participation at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg and arrived in Podgorica to visit the injured.

The road from mountainous northern Montenegro towards Podgorica and the Adriatic coast has been the scene of numerous accidents.

In 2006, a train derailed in the same area, with 47 people killed.

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