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Police probe Lake Geneva bus sinking

Vaud cantonal police launched an investigation on Monday into the mysterious sinking of a bus in Lake Geneva near a quay at Vevey, a town east of Lausanne.

Police probe Lake Geneva bus sinking
Bus as it was being hauled out of the lake with passenger boat in background. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Euro Bus was spotted floating in the lake around 6am by a witness who contacted the department before it submerged, cantonal police said.

The 39-year-old Serbian driver of the coach, from Macedonia, parked the vehicle in the market square in a designated area on Sunday afternoon.

For reasons not immediately known, the vehicle moved from its parking place and down a boat ramp leading into the lake, police said.

The bus drifted several dozen metres before sinking near a jetty for passenger boats, according to the police report.

No one was aboard the bus, which was eventually hauled out of the water at 2pm.

The salvage operation involved divers, fire fighters, police officers and other emergency workers, as well as environmental officers.

Divers were able to attach a “parachute” that was inflated beneath the bus to ensure that it did not get caught on the rocky lake bottom, police indicated.

The salvage operation disrupted the passenger boat service run by the Compagnie Générale de Navigation, which was unable to dock its vessels at the Vevey jetty for several hours.

The online site of the 20 Minutes newspaper reported that the the driver of the bus was on a short holiday visiting relatives in Vevey after driving the bus from Macedonia to Bern.

Euro Bus sent out a replacement coach for the return trip from Bern to Macedonia, 20 Minutes said.

It quoted a spokesman from Euro Bus as saying that the coach that sank was a relatively modern vehicle in “good order”.

The investigation into the incident continues.

Divers work to salvage bus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

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FIRE

Man dies in car fire at Jura petrol station on New Year’s Eve

Police in the canton of Jura are investigating why a vehicle caught fire at a petrol station in the village of Breuleux on Sunday morning, killing the driver.

Man dies in car fire at Jura petrol station on New Year’s Eve
Photo: Jura police
Given the size of the fire and the fact it took place in a petrol station, a large team of 30 firefighters and eight fire engines was sent to tackle the blaze, police said in a statement.
 
Residents of four nearby apartment blocks were evacuated and one elderly person in shock received medical attention. 
 
Firefighters were unable to save the driver of the car, who was found dead inside the vehicle. 
 
According to Le Matin, the victim was a local musician and guitar teacher who was due to perform during the New Year’s Eve event of a local restaurant later that day.
 
Investigations are ongoing to determine why the car – a hybrid Toyota, according to the paper – burst into flames.