Fribourg Portuguese community shattered by coach crash

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 9 Jan, 2017 Updated Mon 9 Jan 2017 12:48 CEST
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Four people died and some 20 were injured, many of them Swiss residents, when a coach travelling from Portugal to Switzerland crashed in France on Sunday morning.

The accident happened at around 4.30am on a notoriously accident-prone road in Charolles in the Saône-et-Loire region of France on the way back to Romont in the Swiss canton of Fribourg, reported news agencies
 
Most of the passengers were Portuguese but lived in Romont. 
 
The Central Europe Atlantic Road where the crash occurred is known locally as the ‘road of death’ because it sees several deadly accidents a year.
 
On Sunday evening 15 of the passengers were released from hospital and travelled back to Switzerland in vehicles provided by the Portuguese consulate in Switzerland.
 
Four others returned home on their own steam. 
 
Three seriously injured passengers, one of them a two-year-old child, as well as ten other injured remain in hospital in France.  
 
Fribourg cantonal police is acting as intermediary between the French authorities and the Portuguese community in Romont.
 
Writing on Facebook the Romont Portuguese Cultural Centre said it felt “deep sorrow” at the news and offered “thoughts of strength and courage” to those affected. 
 
There are around 260,000 Portuguese living in Switzerland, the third largest foreign population after Italians and Germans.
 
In the city of Fribourg the Portuguese community comprises nearly 11 percent of the population.

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The Local 2017/01/09 12:48

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