Thousands gather to mourn victims of Italy coach crash

Thousands of people packed into a sports hall in the southern Italian town of Pozzuoli today to mourn the 38 people who died when a coach plunged nearly 100 feet off a motorway viaduct.

The names of the victims were read out aloud, before the local Catholic bishop called on the authorities to uncover the cause of the accident to ensure it would never happen again.

Grieving families crowded around the coffins of the victims which were stretched across the room.

ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports:

The Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who cut short an official visit to Greece, was among the estimated 4000 mourners at the service during a day of national mourning.

Many of the victims, including children, came from the same town situated just outside Naples.

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta (C) reacts as he attends the funeral service of victims of a coach crash. Credit: REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

The coach hit several vehicles before smashing through a motorway barrier and plunging down a slope on Sunday night.

People pay tribute to the coffins of victims of a coach crash at the end of the funeral service. Credit: REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

An autopsy has been ordered on the body of the driver, who died in the accident, while investigators have also been examining the wreckage of the bus to ascertain what caused the accident.

A man sits next to the coffins of victims of a coach crash. Credit: REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
The wreckage of the coach is seen after a crash near the southern town of Avellino. Credit: REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

On Monday, families of the victims were required to identify their loved ones at a makeshift mortuary at a local school gymnasium.