The tragedy struck while the bus was leaving the A4 motorway near the southeastern town of Jarosław.
“A preliminary on-site inspection indicates that the Ukrainian bus driver for some unknown reason swerved off and broke a traffic barrier on the road embankment and then careened into a ditch,” Jarosław Police spokeswoman Anna Długosz told Polish Radio on Saturday. “The driver has passed a sobriety test. Police and prosecutors are now examining the site,” she added.
The bus was travelling to Ukraine and all the 57 people on board were Ukrainian nationals. The injured were transferred to local hospitals while other passengers have been taken care of at a local school, according to medical ambulance services in Przemyśl.
“The passengers were mostly young people going home from work,” a local medical service spokesperson said. "They were mostly sleeping when the accident happened. Most were not even strapped with seat belts, so they got seriously injured," the spokesperson added. He confirmed that there were no children on board.
Earlier reports told of six fatalities but this was not as yet confirmed by the hospital in Przemyśl where the casualties had been admitted.
Up to two million Ukrainians may live or work in Poland, according to estimates.
Source: PAP, IAR, Reuters