Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (18 April) on the bus crash in Madeira:
It is shocking that the Easter holidays have ended in tragedy for so many people. They have lost their lives or are battling with severe injuries. Our thoughts today are with those who are mourning the loss of their relatives and friends. We all share their pain. I wish those injured a swift recovery.
I will fly to Madeira today with a team of doctors, psychologists and consular officers from the Federal Foreign Office to speak with those affected myself and to thank our Portuguese friends for their help.
We still do not know for certain how many Germans were among the victims. Our Embassy in Lisbon is working hard with the local authorities to find out more. The Ambassador and his team have just landed in Madeira. A crisis unit has been set up both in Berlin and Lisbon, and we have opened a hotline for concerned relatives.
We would like to thank our Portuguese friends for their great empathy and support at this difficult time. I am particularly grateful to the local rescue services.