At least 20 dead as Venice bus plunges from bridge

At least 20 people including two children have died after a bus crashed off a flyover near the Italian city of Venice and caught fire, officials say, reports citing BBC.

The bus broke through a barrier and plunged near railway tracks in the district of Mestre, which is connected to Venice by a bridge.

It had been rented to take tourists between Venice and a campsite in the nearby Marghera district, reports say.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said a "huge tragedy" had taken place.

"An apocalyptic scene, there are no words," he said on X, formerly Twitter.

The incident happened at about 19:45 local time (17:45 GMT) as the bus was reportedly taking tourists back to the campsite.

The cause is not yet known and rescue workers are continuing to work at the scene.

Italy's Ansa news agency reported that 21 people had died, 12 had been injured and up to five people were still unaccounted for.

Some reports say the bus was powered by methane gas and fell onto power lines and caught fire.

"The aggravating factor was methane and the fire this spread rapidly," said Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, warning that the death toll could rise.

Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she was following developments.

"I express my deepest condolences, my personal and the whole government, for the serious incident that took place in Mestre," she said.

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families and friends."

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