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Mass funeral held for Italy bus crash victims

Thousands of mourners gathered in the Italian village of Pozzuoli on Tuesday where a mass funeral was held for the 38 victims of Sunday's bus crash.

Italy Avellino bus crash 4Enlarge
Rescuers prepare the coffins of victims of a bus crash on July 28, 2013 on the road between Monteforte Irpino and Baiano, southern Italy. To the left is the wreckage of the bus. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of mourners gathered in the Italian village of Pozzuoli on Tuesday where a mass funeral was held for the 38 victims of Sunday's bus crash.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta was among the estimated 5,000 who attended the service held in a Pozzuoli sports arena, near Naples.

He said on Twitter that Tuesday would be a national day of mourning for the victims.

Bishop of Pozzuoli Gennaro Pascarella urged authorities to discover the cause of the accident, saying, "We must ensure this never happens again."

He also appealed for support for the families who lost someone in the crash.

"Political and religious institutions should not leave our brothers alone, especially those who have found themselves without any economic support," he said.

More from GlobalPost: Italy: At least 38 killed in Avellino bus accident (PHOTOS)

On Monday, hundreds of relatives identified the bodies of their family members at a school near the crash site that was turned into a temporary morgue.

"They told me to look at all the bodies until I found my brother," said one man who gave his name as Ciro.

"It was like a mountain had fallen on my head."

The bus was carrying 48 people, including children, when it hit several other cars and lost control after failing to break on a bend, smashing through a crash barrier and off a viaduct near Monteforte Irpino, plunging 98 feet into a ravine.

The passengers had been participating in a weekend pilgrimage to the Padre Pio shrine in Pietrelcina.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/130730/mass-funeral-held-italy-bus-crash-victims