Iceland crash: Three British people including child killed

  • Published
Site of car accident where three British people including child have been killed on the Núpsvötn bridge on Iceland's ring road between the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur and area of SkaftafellImage source, Adolf Ingi Erlingsson

Three British tourists, including a young child, have died after their vehicle crashed while crossing a bridge in Iceland.

The vehicle - a 4x4 - was carrying seven British people when the accident happened at around 9:30 GMT on Thursday, Icelandic Police said.

The other four passengers in the car were critically injured and airlifted to hospital, police said.

Two of those seriously injured are children aged between seven and nine.

The Toyota Land Cruiser crashed through a railing on a one-lane bridge in southern Iceland.

It then fell around eight metres onto a sandy river bank.

The accident happened in an area called Núpsvötn on Iceland's ring road between the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur and area of Skaftafell, which is part of the Vatnajökull National Park beauty spot.

Sveinn Kristjan Runarsson, Chief Superintendent of south Iceland Police said police have not yet been able to talk to the injured passengers - who are now in hospital in Iceland's capital Reykjavik - about what happened.

The group involved in the crash are from two British families.

Police said it is not thought the road was icy, but humidity could have made the bridge's surface - which is made of steel - slippery.


One of the first people on the scene was tour guide Adolf Erlingsson, who told BBC News he believed the driver had lost control.

Image source, Adolf Ingi Erlingsson
Image caption,
The accident took place on a 200-300 metre bridge over the area of Núpsvötn on Iceland's ring road

Mr Erlingsson said the car "went through the railing and crashed down onto the bank".

"It's kind of sandy, there's no rivers so it wasn't submerged in water. It just landed there on a sandy bottom and flipped over and was totally destroyed," he said.

He added that he got out of his van and went to see if he could help.

"The car was a total wreck. When I got there four people were out of the car, one of them deceased. Then there were three people trapped in the car.

"The driver was alive and trapped more or less under the dashboard. We were trying to get the people out of the car and helping them, it was a very difficult situation."

Image source, PA
Image caption,
A police car blocks off part of Route 1 - Iceland's main ring road around the country

He said he spoke to some passengers who were "semi-conscious", adding: "I tried to talk a bit to the driver to calm him down."

According to BBC correspondent Ben Ando, the 4x4 has been recovered and will be transported to the town of Selfoss where the bodies of two of the occupants will be taken out of the wrecked car.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are supporting the family of several British nationals who were involved in a road traffic accident in Iceland and are in close contact with the Icelandic authorities."

Iceland's national ring road, also known as Route 1, is popular among tourists. The accident happened near Skaftafell in the south-east, which is made up of mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and beaches.