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A bus headed for Switzerland crashes off a German highway, killing 4 people

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BERLIN (AP) — Four people were killed Wednesday when a bus headed from Berlin to Switzerland drove off a highway in eastern Germany and ended up on its side, police said.

The accident happened on the A9 highway near Leipzig at about 9:45 a.m, less than two hours after the bus left Berlin. It was en route to Zurich and operated by Flixbus, the dominant long-distance bus operator in Germany.

Police initially said that at least five people were killed, but later revised the figure to four. They said a person initially reported to them as dead was in a life-threatening condition.

Six people were seriously injured and 29 lightly injured, they said. Many people were taken to nearby hospitals.

There were 54 people on board the bus at the time of the crash, including two drivers — a 62-year-old from the Czech Republic and a 53-year-old from Slovakia.

The cause of the accident wasn’t immediately clear. Police said there was no indication that any other vehicle was involved, and the driver wasn’t among those killed.

Police said late Wednesday they couldn’t yet give information on the ages and nationalities of the victims, and that the identification of the dead hadn’t yet been completed.

They said they have opened an investigation on suspicion of negligent manslaughter.

The A9 is a major north-south route that links Berlin with Munich. The accident happened on a straight stretch of the road just north of a highway interchange at Schkeuditz, next to the Leipzig/Halle airport.

The highway was fully reopened Wednesday evening, nearly 12 hours after the crash.