Bus Crash Injures 14 Former Cruise Ship Passengers
KARLSRUHE, West Germany (AP) _ Fourteen West German passengers from the Achille Lauro were injured when the bus carrying them home was involved in a 10-vehicle collision which killed three other people, police said today.
The accident occurred on a high-speed autobahn south of Karlsruhe in southern West Germany late Thursday, police reported. They said 18 people in all were injured.
A spokesman for the Frankfurt travel agency to which the bus belonged said it was carrying 34 former passengers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, which was hijacked with more than 500 people aboard by four gunmen off Port Said, Egypt, on Oct.7.
None of the West Germans were aboard the ship when it was hijacked. They were among a group of more than 600 people who had gotten off the ship in Alexandria for a tour.
Police initially said between 15 and 20 passengers were injured in the crash, but revised the figure following further investigation.
Police spokesman Lothar Hellriegel said three people were seriously hurt, including one woman bus passenger and the driver of the bus. He said three people from other vehicles were injured.
Those killed in the accident today were another driver on the bus, an employee of the travel agency and the driver of a car, police said.
Spokesman Horst Albrecht said the bus was returning to Frankfurt from Genoa, where the groups had traveled Wednesday to pick up their luggage from the ship after it had docked in the Italian port.
Seventy-three West Germans were on the Achille Lauro, but all escaped the hijacking after getting off in Cairo for a land sightseeing tour.
They flew back to West Germany on Sunday.
A pileup occurred after two trucks collided on the autobahn late Thursday, with one truck careening through a barrier into oncoming lanes and ramming a car.
The bus crashed into the wreckage and six more cars piled into it moments later.
The men accused of hijacking the Achille Lauro and of killing an American passenger were arrested in Sicily after the Egyptian plane carrying them was intercepted by U.S. Navy jets.