A “fairytale” Australia wedding ended in a horrific tragedy Monday night when a chartered bus carrying guests overturned, killing 10 people and injuring 25 more, police said.
The bus and its 58-year-old male driver were hired to provide transportation for the wedding guests and were taking 53 attendees to their hotels after the reception when it crashed at a roundabout on Wine Country Drive in the town of Greta just after 11:30 p.m.
The driver was arrested at the scene and will be charged, New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman said without specifying what the charges would be.
She did not say whether speed was a factor on the foggy road, but told reporters that “there is sufficient information … for us to establish that there will be charges.”
The guests had attended the wedding at the Wandin Estate Winery in New South Wales and were taking the bus to reach their accommodations in the town of Singleton when the vehicle flipped, according to Chapman.
The wounded were rushed to hospitals by both helicopters and emergency vehicles.
Another 18 passengers who were on the bus at the time of the single-vehicle crash were not injured.
One attendee described the ceremony as “a fairytale wedding” in an interview with Seven News.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered government support to the victims and their loved ones.
“For a joyous day like that, in a beautiful place, to end with such terrible loss of life and injury is so cruel and so sad and so unfair,” Albanese said.
He added that it was particularly unfair given the tragic irony of hiring the bus so guests wouldn’t drink and drive.
“People hire a bus for weddings in order to keep their guests safe. And that just adds to the unimaginable nature of this tragedy,” he said.
The deadly crash occurred in Australia’s Hunter Valley, a region known for its beautiful vineyards and popular for weddings.
Footage from the scene showed the large bus lying on its side on top of a crushed guardrail. Some nearby residents later left flowers at the crash site in honor of the victims.
With Post wires.
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