Car jumps bridge on to 'mall'

2003-07-09 08:04

Lausanne, Switzerland - Three people were killed and nine others injured on Tuesday when a car barrelled into pedestrians in this Swiss city, then broke the barriers of a bridge and plummeted on to a busy downtown street, police said.

Four of the injured were listed in a critical condition, after what has been said to be the city's worst accident in more than 20 years.

The car first ran up on to a pavement, taking out several people. It then climbed up the Grand Pont - a bridge about 30m above a busy shopping district - and "plunged into the Centrale street, taking along other people in a fall of 12m", said regional police.

"Five people found below seemed to have been dragged along in the fall by the vehicle," said Lausanne police commander Gerald Hagenlocher.

Two women, aged 34 and 40, were killed in the crash. A third woman, 22, died later on Tuesday in hospital.

The car driver, a 37-year-old man, was seriously injured, but his life is not in danger.

An investigation into the incident has been opened.

The last Lausanne accident with a similar death toll occurred in 1982, when a crane fell onto a bus, killing eight and injuring 30.