Three British tourists killed in Iceland car crash: Reports

Rescuers assist after a jeep carrying seven people plunged off a bridge into a dry river bed in Iceland.
Rescuers assist after a jeep carrying seven people plunged off a bridge into a dry river bed in Iceland.PHOTO: ADOLF INGI ERLINGSSON

REYKJAVIK (AFP) - Three people were killed in southern Iceland on Thursday (Dec 27) when their jeep plunged off a bridge into a dry river bed, police said, as local media identified the dead as British nationals.

Seven people were in the car that fell about 6m, "and three of them did not survive the accident", South Iceland police commissioner Grimur Hergeirsson told AFP.

"The other four were transported by helicopter to hospital in Reykjavik," he said.

Local media reported that one of the dead was a child, and that the four injured were in critical condition.

Police told AFP that "at least four of the involved were British citizens", while local media reported that all of the passengers in the Toyota Land Cruiser were British nationals.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

A local tour guide, Mr Adolf Erlingsson, was one of the first people at the scene of the crash, according to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph.

He had been driving along the main road in southern Iceland, called the Ring Road, where the crash happened, when a police car sped passed him.

When he reached the scene, he tried to assist the police in getting the trapped people out of the wreckage.

He told the BBC: "The car was a total wreck. When I got there four people were out of the car, one of them was deceased. There were three people trapped in the car - I think two of them were deceased.

"The driver was alive but trapped more or less under the dashboard, I couldn't see his face. But we were trying to get the people out of the car and helping them. It was a very difficult situation.

"I tried to talk a bit to the driver and calm him down. I was trying to tell him to save his energy and try to be patient and we would try to get him out of there."

Mr Erlingsson said he and the police used a winch to partially lift the car and alleviate the pressure on the trapped driver. After half an hour, more rescue workers arrived at the scene.

"It was a horrible sight to see the wreckage and the people there," Mr Erlingsson added.