Two Romanian men and a woman died and 18 were wounded on Friday in a road accident that occurred some 25 kilometers southeast of the Hungarian capital on the M5 motorway, in the direction of Budapest. The victims were travelling from Galati (Eastern Romania) to Milan in a Romania-registered minibus. According to MTI, the total number of injured was 33, 18 in serious condition. 11 of them are foreigners, Bulgarians, Serbs and Turks.
According to the preliminary data at the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry, “it appears that the accident was caused by a truck registered in Bulgaria, which basically hit the minibus from behind, at high-speed (the minibus was moving slowly, in a line, as the traffic was slow on that part of the motorway). Of the nine cars that were crashed, the minibus suffered the greatest impact and was thrown off the motorway”. The Bulgarian driver of the truck was subsequently arrested. 11 of the injured were brought to Bucharest, Friday night, in a military plane, being admitted in the Universitar, Floreasca and Bagdasar-Arseni Hospitals.
Four special personnel and multiple victims ambulances, staffed with qualified first aid crews, consisting of SMURD firefighters, belonging to the Bucharest “Dealu Spirii” Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, took the injured from Base 90 Otopeni, where they were brought in a military airplane.
State Secretary Raed Arafat, who left for Budapest on Friday to assess the situation and for a possible transfer of the patients, said that the 11 injured have serious wounds, some having fractures that have already been treated and operated in Hungary.
At Base 90, after the injured had been taken by the SMURD ambulances, Arafat told the journalists that the other seven Romanians injured in the accident are in three hospitals in Budapest and one in another Hungarian town, in ICU, intubated, ventilated and in a critical state. The decision to bring them back to Romania will be taken for each patient, individually, Arafat said. The State Secretary also said that the Hungarian authorities provided the Romanian ones with all the necessary logistics for the transfer of the wounded.
As for the three Romanians who died in the car crash, their autopsies were completed and their bodies will be brought to Romania after the consular formalities are done.
The injured ones who are still in the hospitals in Hungary are stable, according to the Hungarian Defense Ministry and the Hungarian Health Authority GYEMSZI, quoted by MTI.
Owner of the minibus had all papers in order
The Minister of Transportation, Ramona Manescu said on Friday, that the company that offered transportation for the people involved in the accident in Hungary respected all the legal procedures. “We checked with the Romanian Road Authority in regard to the license of the mini-bus. The license was all right and the two drivers were certified. Everything was in order from the point of view of the Romanian Road Authority and with the papers”, Manescu said. During the check they found out that the company was licensed in 2011, and the two drivers, aged 29, respectively 45, had professional licenses for passenger transportation.
The minister said that the mini-bus was in a traffic jam and was stopped at the moment of the accident, but a Bulgarian truck hit if from behind.
Officials sent condolences
Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Friday sent condolences to the families of three Romanians who died in a road accident in Hungary, thanking Hungarians for their solidarity. “Mr. Raed Araft said they all behaved exemplarily and I want to thank them publicly (…) I want to extend my thanks to our neighbors who were next to us in sad moments,’ Ponta said. Previously in the day, PM Ponta had promised the Romanian Government would take all measures to help the Romanian victims.
President Traian Basescu also sent a condolence message to the families of the Romanians killed in the highway pile-up, expressing also full support for the people who were injured in this tragic event.
Two more accidents during the weekend
A third deadly accident involving Romanian nationals occurred on Sunday also in Hungary, near Siofok locality. One passenger died and other two are injured. The driver was not hurt, Realitatea TV informs.
Four Romanians were also involved in another serious accident on motorway M43, in Hungary, Saturday night, after the driver fell asleep. Three of the Romanians have been admitted in a hospital, with very serious injuries, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry informs. According to them, the families of the injured were there, traveling in a different car.