At least 29 German tourists are understood to have been killed in a coach crash in Madeira.

Portuguese news reports said the tourist bus overturned at around 6.30pm yesterday near the Quinta Splendida Hotel in Caniço, a coastal town to the east of the capital Funchal on the holiday island.

The coach, believed to be carrying 55 tourists, came off the road and rolled down a steep hill after the driver lost control.

Germany’s Bild newspaper reported that many of the holidaymakers were retirees, and those killed included 18 women and 11 men.

Aerial footage showed the coach – its roof caved in and windscreen smashed – part-way down a hillside.

The Portuguese guide and driver are reported to have survived the accident.  They along with the other wounded people were taken to hospital in the island’s capital of Funchal.

An investigation has been launched into the crash.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement: “We are seeking information from the authorities in Portugal about a bus crash in Madeira, and are ready to support any British people who require assistance”.

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