Iceland bridge car crash: Three British tourists, including child die

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Three British tourists, including a child, have died after the 4×4 they were in plunged off a bridge in Iceland.

Four others were critically injured in the crash, which happened at around 9.30am on Thursday.

A Toyota Land Cruiser carrying seven passengers crashed through a railing on a one-lane bridge before falling around eight metres onto a river bank.

Police said one child was among the dead and two children are among the injured in the crash, which took place on a 200-300 metre bridge on the national Route 1 road near Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain in southern Iceland.

The two children injured had been confirmed as aged seven and nine by authorities.

The four injured were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

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Chief Superintendent of south Iceland Police Sveinn Kristjan Runarsso said that officers have not been able to speak with them about what happened.

Those involved in the crash are from two British families, and a number of them are thought to be of Indian heritage.

Police said the road was not thought to be icy but humidity could have made the surface slippery for the SUV, which was driving eastbound over the bridge in Nupsvotn, just south of the Vatnajokull glacier.

Tour guide Adolf Erlingsson, who was among the first on the scene, told the Associated Press: “It was horrible. The car seemed to have hit the ground many metres from where it stopped. We struggled getting everyone out.”

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Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Somehow, the driver must have lost control of the car and it just went through the railing and crashed down onto the bank.

“It’s kind of sandy, there’s no rivers so it wasn’t submerged in water. It just landed there on a sandy bottom and flipped over and was totally destroyed.”

He said it was a “difficult situation” at the site of the crash.

Mr Erlingsson said he spoke to some people who were “semi-conscious” outside the vehicle.

“I tried to talk a bit to the driver to calm him down. He was trapped inside the car,” he added.

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The tour guide estimated the car had fallen about five or six metres from the bridge and was a “total wreck”.

The crash happened just south of Skaftafell National Park, part of the Vatnajokull National Park, which was nominated for inclusion in Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2018.

The Vatnajokull glacier is the largest in Europe, covering 8 per cent of Iceland’s landmass including the island’s tallest peak Hvannadalshnjukur at 2,200 metres tall (7,218ft).

Tourists flock to the area to enjoy hiking, camping and sightseeing flights.

South of the national park is the Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain formed from alluvial deposits, with little vegetation, with the Nupsvotn glacial lakes on its western boundary.

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