Five Britons killed after car plunges 80ft into Swedish canal

Video report by ITV News reporter Ria Chatterjee

Five Britons have died after the car they were in plunged more than 80 feet from a bridge into a canal in Sweden.

The Foreign Office confirmed the deaths after Swedish police said five people were killed near the capital Stockholm on Saturday.

Police spokeswoman Eva Nilsson said Saturday that divers have recovered the bodies of five men, aged between 19 and 35.

The men were reportedly members of up and coming Warrington-based band Viola Beach and their manager, with many people paying tribute to the group on Twitter.

None of the men killed in the crash have been formally identified.

On Twitter Callum Bate, who describes himself as a front of house engineer for Viola Beach, wrote: "Today has been a terrible terrible day."

He added: "The boys from Viola Beach were the most hardworking and honest bunch of lads. So honoured to work with them for the past months. RIP boys X"

British rock band The Enemy were among those to pay tribute online.

The cause of the accident on the E4 highway in Stockholm's Sodertalje district was not yet known.

A Foreign Office Spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that five British nationals died in a car accident in Sweden on February 13.

"We are in contact with local authorities and supporting the families at this very difficult time”.

The wreckage of the car after being pulled from the water. Credit: PA

Swedish media reported that the Nissan Qashqai smashed into a road barrier and then plunged 82 feet into the water.

At the time of the pre-dawn accident, the bridge over the Sodertalje canal was closing after it had been opened to let a vessel sail through. Its warning lamps were flashing and two barriers were blocking the road.

Five men were killed in the crash. Credit: Reuters

Inspector Martin Bergholm said: "For some reason, the car drove through the barriers and crashed down into the canal."

Police received a call at about 2.30am and were first to arrive on the scene, a "maximum five minutes" later.

Mr Bergholm said: "Police arrived first, then the fire brigade who came with fire brigade divers at the scene and found the car and three bodies.

"We didn't know how many people there were in the car but we found out there were five. Later on, about an hour later, the police divers came and found two more bodies."

The crash happened on a bridge over the Sodertalje canal. Credit: Google Maps