UK

Coach Crash In French Alps Kills British Ski Worker (PHOTOS)

16/04/2013 16:07 BST | Updated 16/04/2013 21:14 BST

Updated 21:00, 16 April 2013 - gallery added plus police and Abta information

One Briton has been killed after a coach carrying ski resort staff crashed in the French Alps.

French police said the dead person was driving more than 50 UK nationals home from the resort of Alpe d'Huez on Tuesday when the coach veered off the road after an apparent problem with the brakes

alps crash

Firefighters stand by the wreckage of the bus after the crash near Bourg d'Oisans in the French Alps resort of l'Alpe d'Huez

It smashed into rocks on the side of the road before bursting into flames.

UK travel organisation Abta said the Britons were staff who were on their way home having been working for a Brighton-based ski company at Alpe d'Huez and other resorts.

Several passengers escaped from the burning wreckage by jumping from the windows.

At least four people were said to have been seriously injured, with those hurt being treated in local hospitals.

A helicopter was scrambled to the scene where firefighters battled to put out the flames.

A local police spokesman said: "There was apparently a problem with the coach's brakes.

"The driver seems to have lost control on a steep bend in the road and his vehicle crashed into rocks.

"It burst into flames but everyone is now out.

"Some passengers escaped by jumping out the windows."

Abta said there were two drivers and 51 passengers on board the coach, with the passengers having finished the ski season after working for Skibound Holidays in various resorts across the French Alps.

Skibound said: "A special assistance team from Skibound is in place to provide support to those affected by the incident.

"An emergency telephone line has been set up for relatives and friends to call - 01273 244650.

"Our thoughts are with those who have been involved in the accident and their relatives. The names of any injured parties will not be released until all next of kin have been notified."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the tragic incident involving British nationals in the Isere region of southern France.

"We are in touch with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance."

A spokesman for Skibound confirmed that the dead man was a British driver who was bringing staff back to the UK at the end of the ski season.

He added: "Twenty nine passengers have been taken to hospitals in the area, four of which are being treated for more serious injuries.

"The further 23 passengers have escaped injury and are now with police and councillors in a local hotel."

The spokesman said the company was concentrating on repatriating those involved in the accident, the cause of which is still being investigated.