British tourists killed after Land Cruiser plunges off Núpsvötn bridge in Iceland

  1. ITV Report
  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers

Three British tourists, including a child, have died when a 4×4 plunged into a riverside while crossing a bridge in Iceland.

Police confirmed four other Britons, including two children aged seven and nine, were among the injured in the crash after the Land Cruiser crashed through a railing on the one-lane crossing.

Four survivors were flown in a helicopter to a hospital in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik.

The accident in the Toyota SUV happened at around 9.30am on Thursday.

Icelandic media said the vehicle fell eight metres from the bridge in Núpsvötn, just south of Vatnajökull glacier, in southern Iceland.

Tour guide Adolf Erlingsson was among the first on the scene. Credit: Adolf Ingi Erlingsson

Tour guide Adolf Erlingsson, who was among the first on the scene, told ITV News it was “horrific.”

“The car had plunged through the or off the bridge, fallen, what I believe is up to, eight metres down and it was in really bad shape.

“When I came there four people were out of the car, three trapped inside.

“Of the four, one was a young child deceased.”

It is unclear how the driver lost control of the vehicle on the 200-300m stretch of bridge.

Chief Superintendent of south Iceland Police Sveinn Kristjan Runarsso said the four injured have been taken to hospital with serious injuries, but added that “we haven’t been able to talk to them about what happened.”

The bridge sits on the national Route 1 road near Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain in southern Iceland.

Those involved in the crash are from two British families, and a number of them are thought to be of Indian heritage.

The Indian Ambassador to Iceland, Mr T. Armstrong Changsan, is believed to have visited the survivors in hospital.

Mr Erlingsson estimated the car had fallen about five or six metres from the bridge and was a “total wreck”.

He told the BBC the crash occurred in an area that was “the most popular destination on the south coast”.

The tour guide described rescue workers arriving at the scene and starting to cut the driver out of the vehicle.

“We had turned the car over a bit,” he said.

“Soon after I arrived we had an SUV with a winch and we use it to lift the car up a little bit to alleviate the pressure on the driver and to try and get him out,” he said.

“It was a horrible sight to come there and see the wreckage and people there,” Mr Erlingsson added.

The crash happened just south of Skaftafell National Park, part of the Vatnajokull National Park, which was nominated for inclusion in Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2018.

The bridge the crash victims were traveling on was wide enough for one vehicle. Credit: Facebook/Sigurpall Ingibergsson

The Vatnajokull glacier is the largest in Europe, covering eight percent of Iceland’s landmass including the island’s tallest peak Hvannadalshnjukur at 2,200 metres tall (7,218ft).

Tourists flock to the area to enjoy hiking, camping and sightseeing flights.

South of the national park is the Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain formed from alluvial deposits, with little vegetation, with the Nupsvotn glacial lakes on its western boundary.

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