UK

Iceland crash: British people killed were two women and baby

Photo of scene in Iceland Image copyright 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

The three British tourists killed in a car crash in Iceland were two women in their 30s and a baby girl from London, police have confirmed.

The women are believed to be sisters-in-law Rajshree and Khushboo Laturia. The baby is understood to be Rajshree's daughter Shreeprabha, born this year.

Their names have not yet been officially released by police.

The victims were travelling in a 4x4 on Thursday when it crashed through the barrier of a bridge.

The car, a Toyota Land Cruiser, fell eight metres onto the river bank below.

Four other people - the women's husbands Shreeraj and Supreme Laturia, and two children aged seven and nine - were all in the car at the time. They were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

The two families were on holiday together. They are of Indian heritage, and the Indian Ambassador to Iceland said relatives from India would be travelling to Iceland.

The accident happened at around 9:30 GMT on Thursday on Iceland's national ring road - also known as Route 1 - in an area called Núpsvötn, between the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Skaftafell.

The area is a popular destination for tourists, and the families were heading east on the road towards the Vatnajökull National Park - which is home to the largest glacier in Europe as well as waterfalls and mountains.

Police have not officially named the people involved.

In a statement on Friday, police said tests had shown the driver of the car had not been drinking alcohol and the baby who died was travelling in a car seat.

"The cause of the accident is unknown and under investigation by the police and the investigative committee for transport accidents," officers added.

"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."

Chief Superintendent Sveinn Kristjan Runarsson said the road was not thought to have been icy, but humidity could have made the bridge's surface - which is made of steel - slippery.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A police car blocks off part of Route 1 on Thursday

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

Describing the bank that the car fell down onto, Mr Erlingsson said: "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 emergency services.

"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."

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office previously said it was providing assistance.

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