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17 April 2013, 08:36
A bus driver believed to be from the North East has died after a coach carrying ski resort staff crashed in the French Alps yesterday.
Police suspect there was a problem with the vehicle's brakes, causing it to veer off the road and smash into rocks before bursting into flames.
The unnamed driver, who worked for County Durham-based Classic Coaches, was carrying more than 50 people on the coach on their way back from Alpe d'Huez.
UK travel organisation Abta said the Britons were staff who were on their way home having been working for a Brighton-based ski company.
Several passengers escaped from the burning wreckage by jumping from the windows.
At least four people were said to have been seriously injured, with those hurt being treated in local hospitals.
A helicopter was scrambled to the scene where firefighters battled to put out the flames.
A local police spokesman said:
"There was apparently a problem with the coach's brakes.
The driver seems to have lost control on a steep bend in the road and his vehicle crashed into rocks.
It burst into flames but everyone is now out. Some passengers escaped by jumping out the windows.''