NEWS
28/12/2018 09:36 GMT | Updated 28/12/2018 16:42 GMT

Iceland Crash: 'Wives Of British Brothers' Dead After Car Plunges Off Bridge

All of the people in the 4x4 are believed to be British Indian.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The incident happened near Skeidararsandur, Iceland.

Two British women and a baby girl were killed when the 4x4 they were travelling in crashed off a bridge in Iceland, police said.

Four other people, said be the two brothers and two other children, were seriously injured and were airlifted to a hospital in the capital Reykjavik.

The victims are understood to be British citizens of Indian origin. According to Iceland’s national broadcaster, RUV, India’s embassy in Iceland confirmed the car contained two brothers, their wives and children.

Icelandic police said the women were born in 1982 and 1985. The child who died was born earlier this year.

The Iceland Monitor newspaper said the embassy had confirmed to them the other person killed was a “very young child”.

The Indian Ambassador to Iceland, Mr T. Armstrong Changsan, is believed to have visited the survivors in hospital.

He told the Times of India: “They are British citizens of Indian origin with families in India.

“Their brother is in India. He needs an urgent visa to come here. Iceland officials are trying to help out on this.

“Friends of the accident victims have rushed from the UK to Reykjavik.

“The condition of the survivors is now stable. The British Embassy here is taking care of matters.”

Their brother, Sarvesh Laturia, told the paper: “It was my two brothers and their wives - they are British people.

“They were on vacation and their car met with an accident in which my two sister-in-laws passed away and my niece passed away.

“My two brothers are in a critical condition in hospital.”

PA
Police closed the bridge after the accident.

The crash took place on took place on a 200-300 metre one-lane bridge on the national Route 1 road near Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain in southern Iceland.

Authorities haven’t been able to determine what caused the land cruiser to lose control and crash through the barrier and plunge around 8 meters into the dry river bed below.

In a statement police in Iceland said: “The cause of the accident is unknown and under investigation by the police and the investigative committee for transport accidents.

“It is clear that the car was driven past the cameras at Hvolsvollur early that same morning.

“The car was driven to the east, along the Sudurlandsvegur road, and seems to have turned on the bridge with the result that it went on top of the railing of the bridge, to the right, following it for a short distance and then turned over off the rail and the bridge.

“There, the car fell down on the ground beneath the bridge.”

Speaking to the BBC, tour guide Adolf Erlingsson described a “very difficult situation” at the scene of the crash.

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

He said the crash occurred in an area that was “the most popular destination on the south coast”.

The tour guide described rescue workers arriving at the scene and starting to cut the driver out of the vehicle.

“We had turned the car over a bit,” he said. 

“Soon after I arrived we had an SUV with a winch and we use it to lift the car up a little bit to alleviate the pressure on the driver and to try and get him out,” he said.

“It was a horrible sight to come there and see the wreckage and people there,” Erlingsson added.

“Four people were out of the car, one of them deceased,” he said. “Then there were three people, trapped in the car and I think two of them were deceased.

“We were trying to get the people out of the car and helping them. It was a very difficult situation.”

He 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.

The identities of those who died have not yet been released.