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Driver dies in ski crash

Party of British ski tour workers involved in accident on descent from Alpe d'Huez resort

A BRITISH bus driver has died and three others were seriously injured in a crash on the twisty descent from the Alpe d'Huez ski resort in the Alps.

The bus, with a party of around 50 young Britons from ski company Skibound on board, hit a cliff wall at the side of the road yesterday afternoon before catching fire.

Some passengers managed to escape the bus through broken windows, while others were rescued by rescue services.

Isère prefecture said that the bus driver - from Durham firm TGM Classic Coach - had managed to warn passengers of a problem with the brakes before hitting the cliff wall at the side of the road, possibly in a bid to slow down on the steep descent.

The three seriously injured people were airlifted to the hospital at La Tronche in Grenoble. Another 22 with slight injuries were treated at the scene.

The group were heading back to the UK after working in the Isère resort and elsewhere in the Alps. Their bus crashed on the last of the 21 bends on the twisty access road, made famous by the Tour de France.

British ambassador Sir Peter Ricketts went to Alpe d'Huez last night to meet the survivors, who spent the night at their hotel at Alpe d'Huez.

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