At least 38 die after bus plunges from bridge in southern Italy

Story highlights

  • Police: The bus struck 11 cars on the road before falling off the bridge
  • Officials report two more deaths -- one from a hospital and a body found under the bus
  • A police official says more bodies could be found in the wreckage
  • Ten people survived the crash

A bus returning pilgrims from a weekend visit to a Catholic shrine went off a bridge in southern Italy on Sunday, leaving at least 38 dead -- including some children, officials said.

The death toll rose by two after one person who was hospitalized died, and the body of another victim was found under the bus, fire brigade commander Alessio Barbarulo said Monday.

Ten people survived, Barbarulo said.

The bus was traveling east of Naples in Avellino province, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

More bodies could be found in the wreckage, Avellino police official Pasquale Picone said. Picone did not have an exact figure for the number of passengers on the bus, though reports indicate as many as 50 may have been on board.

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The passengers had participated in a weekend pilgrimage to the Padre Pio shrine in Pietrelcina.

Andrea Regione, a photographer for the Corriere dell'Irpinia newspaper, told CNN that the bus went off a bridge and fell roughly 30 meters (almost 100 feet) into a heavily wooded area below.

Photos from the scene showed a broken guardrail and the bus laying on its side.

Another photo appeared to show a line of bodies -- each covered in a white sheet.

Picone said the bus struck 11 cars on the road before falling off the bridge, leading police to suspect the bus had brake problems. But the exact cause of the accident remains unknown.

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