Man saves bus from plunging into ravine in Austrian Alps

VIENNA (AFP) - The quick reflexes of a French tourist saved a coach carrying 22 people from plunging into a ravine in the Austrian Alps, police said on Sunday (Sept 24).

The 65-year-old man was one of 21 French tourists in the coach when the driver fell ill and collapsed on a high-altitude road near the city of Schwaz in western Austria.

Part of the vehicle was hanging over the road's guard rail, about to fall into a 100m precipice, when the man leapt from his front-row seat and pulled the brake at the last second.

"We were a hair's breadth from catastrophe," a police spokesman said, adding it was "incredible luck" that the passenger's reflexes managed to stop the bus.

Nine people were hospitalised in the accident, which took place on Saturday.