Romanians injured in Montenegro bus crash taken home

A first medically equipped military plane transporting 12 Romanians seriously injured in a deadly bus accident in Montenegro left Podgorica for Bucharest on Tuesday.

The second such plane, transporting 17 other Romanians who sustained less serious injuries in Sunday's crash that killed 18 fellow-countrymen, was to take off for Bucharest later on Tuesday.

Some 30 Romanian doctors were accompanying the injured.

The bodies of the 18 victims will be transported by a third plane once the identification process is completed.

"The decision to transport (to Bucharest) all injured, including those in serious condition, was taken by Romanian doctors," said Slavica Vujisic, a doctor at a Podgorica hospital.

Three of them were still in critical condition, she stressed.

The bus, carrying mostly elderly passengers, slid off the road into a gorge in a mountainous region near the river Moraca some 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the capital Podgorica, in one of the deadliest road accidents n the tiny Adriatic republic.

A 12-year-old Montenegrin boy was also injured when the bus struck him as he was walking along the road.

The Romanian government declared a national day of mourning for its deceased countrymen on Wednesday.

The road from mountainous northern Montenegro towards Podgorica and the Adriatic coast has been the scene of numerous accidents.

In 2006, a train derailed in the same area, with 47 people killed.