‘A horrifying shock’: Family of two British women and a baby girl killed in Iceland bridge crash react to tragedy

Rajshree Laturia, pictured with her husband Shreeraj, has been named locally as one of the victims. Credit: Facebook

The family of two British women and a baby girl who were killed in a crash in Iceland have said it is "a horrifying shock for the entire family and friends".

“The Indian, British and Icelandic authorities have been extremely cooperative and extended appropriate support", the family said in a statement.

“Our family is deeply saddened so we request you to kindly respect our privacy and give us the space to grieve in peace at this difficult time.

“Special thanks to the local authorities for airlifting and ensuring timely medical facilities were provided."

Rajshree Laturia died along with her sister-in-law Khusboo Laturia and a baby girl in the plunge into a rocky riverbank on Thursday.

The women's husbands, who are siblings, remain seriously injured, along with two other children after the crash, the cause of which is still to be established.

A family Facebook photo of Rajshree Laturia shows her smiling alongside husband Shreeraj.

While the women were named locally a brother of the injured men, Sarvesh Laturia, confirmed his relatives were involved in the crash.

“It was my two brothers and their wives - they are British people,” he told the Times of India.

”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.“

Neighbours in the street where the two Laturia families lived in Popular, east London, said they were shocked by the news and described them as ”lovely people“.

One family friend, who said her daughter went to school with one of the Laturia children, said: ”They were a very lovely family.“

Another neighbour said: ”They were lovely people, absolutely peerless people. It's absolutely terrible.“

Police say the cause of Thursday's accident has not been declared.

But in a statement on Friday police said the Toyota Land Cruiser “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.

“There, the car fell down on the ground beneath the bridge.”

Friends have flown to Iceland to comfort the survivors, who were flown to a hospital in the capital Reykjavik after the crash, while relatives in India have been informed of the tragedy.

The Indian embassy in Reykjavik earlier confirmed the victims were all of Indian origin.

Tour guide Adolf Erlingsson was among the first on the scene. Credit: Adolf Ingi Erlingsson

The accident in the Toyota SUV happened at around 9.30am on Thursday.

Icelandic media said the vehicle fell eight metres from the bridge in Núpsvötn, just south of Vatnajökull glacier, in southern Iceland.

Tour guide Adolf Erlingsson, who was among the first on the scene, told ITV News it was "horrific".

"The car had plunged through the or off the bridge, fallen, what I believe is up to, eight metres down and it was in really bad shape," he said.

"When I came there four people were out of the car, three trapped inside. Of the four, one was a young child deceased."

There is no theory as to how the driver lost control of the vehicle. Credit: Adolf Ingi Erlingsson

It is unclear how the driver lost control of the vehicle on the 200-300m stretch of bridge.

Chief Superintendent of south Iceland Police Sveinn Kristjan Runarsso said the four injured have been taken to hospital with serious injuries, but added that “we haven’t been able to talk to them about what happened.”

The bridge sits on the national Route 1 road near Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain in southern Iceland.

The Indian Ambassador to Iceland, Mr T. Armstrong Changsan, is believed to have visited the survivors in hospital.

The bridge the crash victims were traveling on was wide enough for one vehicle. Credit: Facebook/Sigurpall Ingibergsson

The crash happened just south of Skaftafell National Park, part of the Vatnajokull National Park, which was nominated for inclusion in Unesco's World Heritage List in 2018.

The Vatnajokull glacier is the largest in Europe, covering eight percent of Iceland's landmass including the island's tallest peak Hvannadalshnjukur at 2,200 metres tall (7,218ft).

Tourists flock to the area to enjoy hiking, camping and sightseeing flights.

South of the national park is the Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain formed from alluvial deposits, with little vegetation, with the Nupsvotn glacial lakes on its western boundary.