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Official: 2 students, driver killed in school bus crash

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Two female high school students and the driver of their school bus were killed when the vehicle collided head-on with a truck along a busy mountain road Tuesday, a Turkish Cypriot official said.

Faiz Sucuoglu, health minister of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, said the early morning crash also left seven other passengers injured, three of them seriously.

Sucuoglu said one passenger is in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery while another is suffering from a brain hemorrhage.

A total eight students ranging in age from 15 to 18 were aboard the bus. The dead driver's 53-year-old wife was also on the bus and she is one of the seriously injured passengers, Sucuoglu said.

The accident happened as the bus was taking the students from their village on the Pentadaktylos mountain range to school in the northern, Turkish Cypriot half of the island's capital, Nicosia.

Turkish Cypriot Broadcaster BRT said an initial police investigation showed that the truck veered into the opposite lane and struck the school bus.

BRT said Turkish Cypriot pleader Mustafa Akinci has cut short a visit to Istanbul, Turkey, and will return later Tuesday.

In a message on his Twitter account, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades offered condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

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