July 30, 2013: Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence for the victims of a bus crash in Italy. The coach plunged 30m (98ft) down a steep slope off a flyover near Avellino in southern Italy on Sunday, leaving at least 38 people dead in the country's worst road accident for decades. The coach hit several vehicles before coming off the flyover. The coach was taking about 50 people, including children, back to Naples following a weekend pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Padre Pio in Pietrelcina. The telegram signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and sent to the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, Cresenzio Sepe reads; “Learning of the sad news of the dramatic accident which occurred on the A16 Naples-Canosa motorway viaduct, in which many people died, some of which were children, the Holy Father shares the profound pain that has struck the Campania region, while ensuring his fervent prayers for the many victims.
The Holy Father prays that they will be granted eternal rest and invokes a special Apostolic Blessing that the Lord will heal the injured and give comfort to those who mourn loved ones.