Algarve coach crash: 14 British relatives hurt in motorway smash with tanker on their way to airport

Telegraph Reporters
Television footage showed the front of the coach carrying the British holidaymakers embedded in the back of the truck - SIC

Fourteen members of the same British family have been injured after their coach was involved in a crash with a tanker truck on an Algarve motorway.

Three of the tourists are understood to be seriously hurt, with the other 11 suffering less serious injuries.

Portuguese police chief Samuel Afonso confirmed all the passengers on the Spanish-owned coach were British and the tourists were on their way from a hotel in the resort of Praia da Rocha to Faro Airport to catch flights home.

He said investigators had yet to officially determine the cause of the accident, but said he believed it may have happened after one of the drivers was momentarily blinded by the sun.

The crash happened at just before 8am on Wednesday near the Areeiro Tunnel between Loule and Faro.

The Algarve is a popular destination for British holidaymakers

According to The Times, the family had been on a group holiday in Portugal and were on their way back to Faro airport when they crashed. 

The motorway was closed on the stretch heading eastwards towards Faro so victims could be freed from the wreckage.

Two of the passengers - both believed to be women - and the Portuguese driver had to be cut free by firefighters before being taken to Faro hospital.

The last casualty was not freed until just after 10am local time, more than two hours after the crash.

Television footage showed the front of the coach embedded in the back of the truck.

A local source said the tanker truck was a concrete mixer vehicle and concrete from inside the container it was carrying had spilled into the coach.

The crash happened near the Areeiro Tunnel between Loule and Faro   Credit: Google Maps

A GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana) source said: “All the passengers on the coach were British. They were being taken to Faro Airport.”

The A22, also known as the Via do Infante de Sagres locally, is the main motorway in the Algarve and is 82 miles long.

It connects Lagos on the western Algarve to Castro Marim on Portugal’s border with Spain.

The most-severely injured coach passengers are said to have suffered multiple injuries.