Petr Novotný, managing director of the Czech travel agency Adventura, issued a statement to the Icelandic media on Thursday evening, apologizing for the bus accident in the highland lagoon Blautulón earlier this month.
From the scene of the accident. Only the wheel of the bus sticks out of the lagoon. Photo by Oddur Eiríksson of ICE-SAR.
According to mbl.is, Novotný also thanked those who assisted the travelers who were rescued from the sinking bus and those who recovered it from the lagoon and said the travel agency will cover all costs and repair all damages that were caused.
He also explained that ever since the 1990s, the travel agency has taken hundreds of tourists to Iceland, first on buses and smaller vehicles and for the past four summers on Tatra buses, such as the one that landed in the lagoon.
It is the largest travel agency which specializes in Iceland tours in the Czech Republic and its guides and drivers love and respect Icelandic nature, Novotný stated.
On August 5, its group stopped at the waterfall Ófaerufoss for a lunch break where an employee of Vatnajökull National Park pointed out Blautulón to the guide, saying the area was beautiful, the statement described.
The bus first drove across the lagoon following a track without any difficulties. Half the group decided to exit along with one of the drivers but the other half wanted to drive back across the lagoon. Suddenly the bus started sinking and the guide immediately helped people leave the vehicle. No one was harmed.
In the statement it says that the negative coverage of the accident in the Icelandic media is regretted. Videos that were broadcast on the Icelandic news which show reckless driving of Tatra buses are said to have been stolen and taken out of context.
According to the statement, the travel agency was subjected to rude and even xenophobic comments, which it regrets. Its organizers of Iceland tours will now do all in their power to make sure an accident like this will not repeat itself, it promises.
Click here to read more about the Blautulón accident.