Germany: 18 Killed in Bavaria Bus Crash
BERLIN (CNN) -- Eighteen people are feared dead following a bus crash in Germany on Monday, police have confirmed.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters that emergency services had recovered 11 bodies so far from the crash in Bavaria and the search was underway for seven other people.
After the collision, the bus caught on fire and the flames were "so strong that only steel parts" were still recognizable, Dobrindt added.
The collision occurred at 7 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) on the A9 road in the eastern part of the country, near Nuremberg.
Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for the German government, said Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed her great dismay at the incident.
"We know there are a large number of killed and many injured. In these hours our thoughts are with the families of the victims and of course we wish all those who were injured a speedy recovery from the bottom of our hearts," Seibert tweeted in the aftermath of the incident.
He added, "We want to thank the first responders," saying their work is vital in tragic situations like the bus crash.
Earlier Monday, police said 17 people were missing after the bus, which was carrying 46 people at the time, collided with a truck and then burst into flames. Police also said that 31 people were seriously injured in the crash, which took place near Münchberg, Bavaria.
(Photo by Christof Stache/Getty Images Contributor)