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Thirty-four Spanish tourists were injured, six of them seriously, when the top of their bus was torn off by a low bridge near the French city of Lille, authorities said Monday.
French authorities said the bus driver was following GPS directions when he tried to drive the 12-foot-tall bus — which was traveling from Bilbao, Spain, to Amsterdam in the Netherlands — under the 8½-foot-high bridge Sunday in the Lille suburb of La Madeleine with 58 passengers aboard.
"We have had many vans collide [with the bridge], but this is the first time it has happened with a bus," Madeleine Deputy Mayor Christian Janssens told Agence France-Presse.
Six passengers were reported stable with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The English-language French newspaper Connexion reported that most of the other victims were treated at and released from hospitals and spent Sunday night in a local sports center before they were returned home to Spain on Monday.
"Most people were sleeping ... and nobody understood what was happening," a passenger from Spain's Basque region who identified herself as Carlota told AFP. "All of a sudden, the roof of the tunnel was right there."
Frederic Fevre, the public prosecutor in Lille, told AFP that the 59-year-old driver had a good record and had told investigators he was following instructions provided by his GPS navigation. Authorities said alcohol and drug tests were negative.