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Two Irish women injured in Spanish bus crash that killed 13 other foreign students

Emergency personnel operate on the Spanish AP-7 motorway near Freginals, Amposta south of Tarragona following a fatal bus accident that claimed the lives of 14 foreign students an injured 43 others early on March 20, 2016. The students, enrolled at Barcelona University as part of the European Erasmus exchange programme, were returning from a traditional festival in the eastern city of Valencia when 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," Jordi Jane,who heads interior matters for the Catalonia region, said. / AFP / PAU BARRENA (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)
Around 60 people were on the bus when it crashed (Photo: Getty Images)

TWO Irish women have been injured after a bus carrying foreign students crashed in north eastern Spain.

At least 13 people were killed and 34 injured when the bus crashed in Tarragona at 6am on Sunday.

The bus was carrying around 60 students – mostly aged in their 20s – who were on their way back to Barcelona from the country’s largest fireworks festival in Valencia.

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The bus appeared to have hit a guardrail of the AP-7 highway, before hurtling across the road and landing on its side.

It is believed that the passengers included Spaniards and foreign nationals from around 20 countries, including: Switzerland, Norway, England, Turkey and Ukraine.

According to Catalan Interior Minister Jordi Jane, seven of the victims who lost their lives were Italian and others were from Austria, France, Romania and Uzbekistan.

The University College of Cork (UCC) confirmed that three of its female students were on board the bus.

They were in Spain as part of UCC’s Erasmus programme and were amongst an 11-strong group studying at the University of Barcelona.

In a statement, UCC confirmed that one of the students involved in the accident was being treated at hospital with an arm injury.

The university said that it had contacted all of its students on the Erasmus programme in Barcelona and that their families had been offered support.

“The University wishes to express its condolences to the families, friends and wider university communities of the students who died in this tragic accident,” UCC said in a statement.

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said that his department had been in contact with the families of the three Irish students.

“I can confirm that two young Irish people have received non-life-threatening injuries and my Department has been in contact with their families,” he said.

“Ambassador Cooney and his team at the Embassy in Madrid are working to establish the facts of the situation.  The details of those who have lost their lives have not been released yet.

“We are waiting on the authorities to pass on that information before we can definitively rule out further Irish involvement.”

Anyone with concerns regarding Irish citizens who may have been affected can contact my Department on 01 408 2000.

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Nemesha Balasundaram
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Nemesha Balasundaram is a Reporter with The Irish Post. Follow her on Twitter @nemeshaB

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