Venice coach crash aftermath an 'apocalyptic scene' as 21 killed - including two children

At least 21 people have died after a coach fell 30 metres from an overpass and caught fire near Venice in northern Italy.

Another 18 people were injured in the crash on Tuesday evening, with Italian police confirming there were tourists of "various nationalities" on board.

Among the injured were Ukrainian, German, Spanish, Austrian and French nationals, Venezia police confirmed to Sky News.

There were at least two children among the passengers who died, authorities said.

"Several of the victims were foreigners, we found Ukrainian passports," said Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro.

Ukraine's embassy in Rome confirmed to Sky News it had citizens who were passengers on the bus.

Meanwhile, the British embassy to Italy said it was "currently unaware" if any passengers from the UK were on board.

Sky News Italy reported the driver of the vehicle, Alberto Rizzotto, 40, died in the crash. His colleagues described him as an expert driver who had been in the business for seven years.

Also among the 21 dead was an Austrian woman, who is believed to be the mother of two girls, aged 13 and three, who have been taken to hospital in nearby Treviso in non-life-threatening conditions, Sky News Italy added.

Mr Brugnaro described the crash as a "terrible tragedy", adding: "I immediately ordered the city to go into mourning, in memory of the many victims who were in the crashed bus.

"An apocalyptic scene, there are no words."

The coach fell close to railway lines after veering off a road in the district of Mestre, which is connected to Venice by a bridge.

Police said the bus was rented for guests by a campsite, called Camping Village Jolly, in Marghera.

According to Sky Italia, 18 bodies have so far been dragged from the wreckage after the coach fell 30 metres (98ft) onto electricity lines and caught fire.

One firefighter described the scene as "terrible" adding that it took about an hour to extract some of the bodies.

The cause of the crash is still unclear.

Veneto region governor, Luca Zaia, told state television: "The bus was new and electric, and that street wasn't particularly problematic."

With rescue operations ongoing, the number of deaths could climb higher.

But no more deaths have been reported overnight among those injured, four of whom are in intensive care.

Read more from Sky News:
US House Speaker removed in historic first
Transgender World Cup races scrapped after no one enters

Italy's prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, said: "I express my deepest condolences, my personal and that of the entire government, for the serious accident that occurred in Mestre.

"My thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends.

"I am in close contact with the Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and with the Minister (of the Interior) Matteo Piantedosi to follow the news on this tragedy."

The crash site has been cleaned up and traffic is flowing through the area once more.

Italy has suffered a number of deadly bus crashes in recent years.

In 2013, 40 people died when a bus plunged off a viaduct in southern Italy in one of the country's worst road accidents.

Four years later, 16 people on a bus carrying Hungarian students died in an accident near the northern city of Verona.