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29 Killed, 18 Injured As Bus Bursts into Flame After Collision

February 29, 1996

BAILEN, Spain (AP) _ Police struggled with little success Thursday to identify 29 people killed when a bus carrying Jehovah’s Witnesses and their families collided with a car, then burst into flames.

Police could not explain why the car drove head-on into the bus Wednesday night on a highway near Bailen, a small town in southern Spain. Both drivers were killed.

Five of 18 people injured remained in the hospital late Thursday.

Disaster experts were sent from Madrid to help identify the badly burned bodies. At least nine of the dead were children.

The 58 passengers on the bus were returning from an excursion to the Sierra Nevada mountains 30 miles to the south. Most were from Bailen, 175 miles south of Madrid. Public offices and schools in the town closed Thursday for three days of mourning.

Spain has one of the worst highway safety records in the 15-nation European Union.

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