Bus Driver Resuces 11 Passengers Skip to content

Bus Driver Resuces 11 Passengers

The bus that sank to the bottom of Blautulón lake off Fjallabaksleid nyrðri og northern Fjallabaksleið (F208) had 11 tourists from the Czech Republic, not 22 as was originally reported. The remaining 11 had left the bus to take photos and were scattered in the area near Blautulón, Stöd 2 Newsroom reported last night. The driver rescued everyone from the bus less than a minute after the bus landed in the lake. The depth of the lake is 10 meters where the bus sank.

fjallabaksleid-map

Map of South Iceland. Blautulón lake is near the volcanic canyon Eldgjá.

The emergency call came at roughly 5 pm from the 11 passengers not onboard the bus; due to limited knowledge of English it took the 112 operators some time to work out what had happened and where the accident took place. Jón Hermannsson, a search and rescue unit member (ICE-SAR) led the rescue operation.

“If all the passengers had been onboard things would have been a lot worse,” Hermannsson told ruv.is.

Gudmundur Ingi Ingason, the duty officer in South Iceland’s Kirkjubaejarklaustur town, said the driver was crossing the passage for the fourth time and knew the route well enough.

“He performed an extraordinary deed when he rescued the passengers onboard. Only 51 seconds passed between the time the bus started to sink and until it was completely underwater. He managed to climb through a side-window and opened the sunroof to let the passengers out,” he told ruv.is reports.

The bus was already underwater when the last passenger left the bus, Stöd 2 news room reported yesterday.

The other 11 passengers sat and watched the whole thing from the shores of the lake; none of the onobard passengers were seriously injured.

Divers fom the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police managed to bring back all luggage from the bus. Local authorities are trying to resolve how to retrieve the bus from the river but it is uncertain who is to cover the costs, rúv.is reports.

Another accident was reported yesterday when a couple from Switzerland drove into the Skyndidalsá glacial river at the wrong place and the car was caught in the current; the current took the car 50 meters down the river, mbl.is reports.

The couple was traveling through the Lónsöraefi wilderness area in Southeast Iceland. They called the Swiss police from the car rooftop and they alerted the 112 emergency services.

They recalled the road number F980, and the Search and Rescue units (ICE-SAR) in Hornafjördur was able to come to the scene and assist the couple. The rental car was pulled to shore and was severely damaged.

The river track goes past Eskifell hill up the Illikambur crest by Kollumúli; drivers not used to crossing glacial rivers are advised to request assistance before crossing the river. Bus services are available across the river according to a local road guide website.

Travelers are advised to seek information on road conditions and weather on the Safetravel website.

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