The Zamorano municipality of Santa Cristina de la Polvorosa remembers this Wednesday the 45 children and three teachers of a school in Vigo and the driver of the bus in which they were traveling, who died forty years ago in a traffic accident, when the vehicle fell into the river Órbigo.
The incident, which caused deep consternation among residents of the town of Zamora, took place at 4.30 pm on April 10, 1979 and at that same time this Wednesday the tragedy is remembered with a wreath in memory of the 49 deadly victims of that accident.
There were only ten survivors, nine children and a soldier who had been picked up on the bus when hitchhiking, although the number of victims could have been higher if a group of neighbors who had been in a nearby bar had not come to the rescue immediately. .
The mayor of Santa Cristina de la Polvorosa, Salvador Domínguez, who was then 25 years old, explained to EFE on Wednesday that he did not arrive until an hour after the accident but helped in what he could as did the whole town.
Dismayed by what happened, the residents of this municipality near Benavente, who then had just over 1,300 inhabitants, did not hesitate to offer their homes to receive the relatives of the deceased who moved to the town, waiting to recover the bodies of your loved ones.
The rescue work lasted for about a month and a half, as recalled by Salvador Domínguez, who stressed that the tragedy has not been forgotten over time.
In fact, in the conversations of the older neighbors, on many occasions, for one reason or another, the memory of what happened occurs.
In memory of the victims, the vigueses donated after the tragedy a monolith to Santa Cristina de la Polvorosa that is shown in a square that was renamed Plaza de Vigo.
In this place, a "simple act" of remembrance is celebrated on Wednesday, with a floral offering, a few words of thanks from the authorities of Vigo and Santa Cristina de la Polvorosa, a prayer and a minute of silence.
On the circumstances of the accident that occurred on the Comarcal 650 road (now called Nacional 525), which was the main communication route between Madrid and Vigo, the mayor made mention of the pronounced curve that existed at the entrance to the bridge. the bus rushed to the Órbigo River.
The deceased schoolchildren, Vista Alegre de Vigo students between twelve and fourteen years old, returned to their city after an end-of-course excursion in which they had known Toledo and Madrid.
The trip had a tragic end that is remembered forty years later and to whose magnitude contributed the flood of the Órbigo River in that date.