MADRID: Police have arrested the driver of a digger that collided with a bus killing five youngsters in southern Spain after the suspect tested positive for drugs, officials said yesterday.
The bus carrying members of a youth football team collided with a mechanical digger on a country road in the southwestern Extremadura region on Thursday evening as the youngsters returned from a match, officials said.
The civil guard arrested the 37-year-old man who was driving the digger on “five suspected counts of homicide by carelessness and two counts of serious injuries by carelessness”, a spokesman for the force said.
Police are conducting further analysis after the driver’s initial saliva test showed positive for drugs, the spokesman said. “Other tests must be done, so for the moment it cannot be officially confirmed whether he was under the influence of narcotics,” he added.
The Extremadura emergency services said five minors were killed in the crash and 13 people injured overall.
Spanish media reported that those killed were between 12 and 15 years old.
The president of the Extremadura regional government, Jose Antonio Monago, said they were on their way home to the small town of Monterrubio de la Serena after playing in a competition.
“A death is always a tragedy, but I think it resonates a bit more in everyone’s mind when it is children of such a young age,” he told COPE radio station.