Merkel: “Sadness and shock” over Madeira deaths

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The Latest on the deadly bus crash on Portuguese island of Madeira (all times local):

10 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expressing “sadness and shock” over the bus crash that killed many of her compatriots on Portugal’s Madeira island.

In a statement Thursday, Merkel voiced “sincere sympathy for all of the families who have lost their loved ones in this tragedy.”

At least 29 people were killed when a bus veered off the road and toppled down a hill Wednesday. Most are reported to be German tourists.

Merkel said she hoped those injured and their relatives would be able to recover from the physical and psychological injuries, and thanked Portuguese emergency responders “who were working under difficult circumstances at the site of the crash.”

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas said “we must assume that there are many Germans among the victims.”

8:20 a.m.

A German pastor working on Madeira is praising the medics who cared for the survivors of the bus crash on the Portuguese island that killed 29 people.

Ilse Everlien Berardo told German broadcaster n-tv Thursday the survivors she spoke to were “very calm. Of course, they were in a state of shock.”

The bus carrying 55 people, many of them vacationers from Germany, rolled down a steep hillside Wednesday after veering off the road on a bend east of the capital, Funchal, striking at least one house.

Berardo said the “the nurses and doctors were really touching in the way they dealt with the people.”

Berardo said she spoke to one woman who thought she might have lost her partner, adding. “what I can do is hold their hand and show them they’re not alone.”

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