At least 29 dead in Madeira tourist bus crash

A bus carrying tourists in Madeira has crashed killing 29 people, an official has said.

Local mayor Filipe Sousa told a Portuguese news channel the victims included 17 women and 11 men.

He said most of those on board were German tourists and it is not yet know whether any other nationalities were involved in the accident.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We are seeking information from the authorities in Portugal about a bus crash in Madeira, and are ready to support any British people who require assistance"

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People look at the wreckage of a tourist bus that crashed on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Firemen help a victim of a tourist bus that crashed on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Firemen help victims of a tourist bus that crashed on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Firemen help a victim of a tourist bus that crashed on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman receives medical assistance on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, after a tourist bus crashed. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
A man receives medical assistance on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, after a tourist bus crashed. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Firemen stand next to the wreckage of a tourist bus that crashed on April 17, 2019 in Caniço, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. - At least 28 people were killed when a tourist bus crashed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the local mayor told local media. The regional protection service did not confirm the toll when questioned by AFP. (Photo by RUI SILVA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RUI SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Forensic and rescue workers stand at the scene of a bus accident in Canico, in the Portuguese Island of Madeira, April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Duarte Sa
Rescue workers use blanket to cover bodies at the scene of a bus accident in Canico, in the Portuguese Island of Madeira, April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Duarte Sa
Firefighters cover victims of a tree that toppled into worshipping crowds during a religious festival in Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal, August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Duarte Sa
Firefighters cover victims of a tree that toppled into worshipping crowds during a religious festival in Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal, August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Duarte Sa
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The bus was carrying 55 people when it veered off a road on a bend east of the capital, Funchal, before rolling down a steep hillside on Wednesday, Mr Sousa said.

Authorities said they are investigating the possible cause. Local residents said the weather was fine at the time of the accident, which happened while it was still light, in the early evening.

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