German Chancellor Angela Merkel today thanked the rescue workers after the bus accident on the Portuguese island of Madeira yesterday, killing at least 29 people, most of them probably German, and injuring another 27.
"I thank everyone in Maderia, the rescue teams, nurses and doctors, who in very difficult conditions carried out their work in the place of the tragedy," the foreign minister wrote in a statement.
Merkel said with "sadness and consternation" in all Germans and others affected by the "terrible" bus accident and expressed his condolences in particular to families "who have lost their loved ones in this tragedy."
"I keep the hopes for the wounded and the relatives who fear for them so that they can overcome the physical and psychological consequences," he added.
He recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its employees in Portugal, in collaboration with the local authorities, are doing everything possible to accompany the relatives "in these painful hours and days."
"The tragic bus accident in Madeira has shocked us a lot, we have to start from the basis that there are many Germans among the victims," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter. to the condolences and expressed his support to the relatives of the dead and their hopes to the wounded.
The Foreign Ministry has convened a crisis cabinet and has made available a telephone number to answer calls related to the disaster.