A bus full of tourist from the Czech Republic tumbled into Blautulón lake 10 kilometers off the Nyrðri Fjallabaksleid road (northern Fjallabaksleid or F208) around 4:30 pm; all 22 passengers made it to shore on their own and called for assistance.
A map of South Iceland.
Hella’s Search and Rescue unit (ICE-SAR) was the first to arrive on the scene; units from Vík í Mýrdal, Skaftártunga area west of the Skaftá river, and Álftaver area east of Mýrdalssandur were also called to the scene, ruv.is reports.
Passengers were scattered in different directions as they swam to shore with 11 people seeking shelter in a lodge by Skaftá river in Skaelingar, a tuff ridge area northeast of Skaftártunguafrétti highland pasture. The rest of the group was found by or in the vicinity of the lake. Passengers were cold and wet and taken to Vík í Mýrdal, a small town in South Iceland where they were received by Red Cross volunteers.
In Vík í Mýrdal they were given warm clothes and given the opportunity to call family and friends at home; all of the 22 passengers were provided with accommodation in the local hotels.
The passengeers and driver can count themselves lucky to have made it to shore as the bus sank to the bottom of the lake with all the luggage onboard.
“It was a close call,” Gudmundur Ingason, duty officer in the Police department at Hvolsvellir, told mbl.is.
The police is investigating the circumstances that led to the accident and formal statements will be taken from the tourguide and busdriver; an interpreter has been arranged for to assist the police in taking statements from the passengers.
Divers are on their way to the lake and will attempt to bring the bus to shore.
The road passed Blautulón lake goes through the lake and drivers must be careful not to drive too far off the road. The lake is very deep
Click here to read more about Fjallabaksleid Nyrðri or the northern Fjallabaksleid (F208).