British wives who died in Iceland bridge crash named
28th December 2018

A 10-month-old baby girl, Shreeprabha Laturia – the daughter of Rajshree and her husband Shreeraj Laturia – also died in the crash.

Mr Laturia, his brother Supreme and two other children, aged seven and nine, are being treated in hospital for serious injuries.

Icelandic police said the women were born in 1982 and 1985.

A third brother, Sarvesh Laturia, who is in India, said it was “my two brothers and their wives – they are British people”.

Speaking to the Times of India, he added: “They were on vacation in Iceland and their car met with an accident in which my two sister-in-laws passed away and my niece passed away.

“My two brothers are in a critical condition in hospital.”

The rented Toyota Land Cruiser the two families from east London were travelling in fell at least six metres (20ft) onto the rocky river bank below a bridge near Skeidararsandur – a vast sand plain in southern Iceland at about 9.30am on Thursday.

The crash site was described as “horrifying” by tour guide Adolf Erlingsson, who was among the first on the scene with two police officers.

He told Sky News: “It was quite a horrific scene. The car went off the bridge and just crashed down – I would guess five or six metres – and was really badly damaged.

“When I got there, there were four people out of the car – one of them deceased.

“Three more were trapped inside, two of them probably deceased, and the other trapped under the dashboard.”

The first rescue helicopter pilot on the scene, Andri Johannesson, who flew two of the survivors to hospital, told Sky News that conditions at this time of year could be unpredictable.

“Sometimes you can experience no ice, but a few minutes later, ice, so people really have to drive slowly,” he said.

While the cause of the accident is still being investigated, police said the vehicle “seems to have turned on the bridge with the result that it went on top of the railing of the bridge, to the right, following it for a short distance and then turned over off the rail and the bridge”.

Officers doubt the road was icy prior to the crash, but say humidity could have made the bridge slippery.

Both families lived in the same street in Poplar. One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said it was “absolutely terrible”, adding: “They were lovely people, absolutely peerless people.”

A family friend, who said her daughter went to school with one of the Laturia children, described them as a “very lovely family”.

The crash happened just south of Skaftafell National Park, where tourists go for camping, hiking and sightseeing.

The bridge over Nupsvotn was built in 1973 and is 420 metres in length.

It is expected to be replaced in the next few years by a shorter bridge of around 100 metres long, according to information from the Road Administration department.

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