By Aisling McCabe
Irish students on Erasmus in Spain are are said to be “traumatised” following a bus crash Sunday morning.
The crash, which left 13 women in their 20s dead, was carrying students from all over Europe.
“I only live an hour away from Valencia and my parents knew I was going to be at the festival as well, so they were worried and shocked when they heard about the crash with Erasmus students departing from the festival”, Aoife Gaffney, a DIT student currently on Erasmus in Spain, said.
“You really just don’t know what’s around the corner and it’s just devastating to think that something like that could happen. I’ve made lots of friends from many different countries from around the world here and when the news came out, they were all just as shocked and devastated as we were”, she continued.
Three Irish students from UCC were on board the bus, one of which was treated for minor injuries. The others were uninjured in the collision.
All of the students were on Erasmus attending Barcelona University, and were on their way home from the Las Fallas festival.
The fatalities were women between the ages of 19-25 and included seven from Italy, two Germans, and one each from France, Romania, Uzbekistan and Austria. A total of 43 people were injured in the collision.
Over 40,000 Irish students undergo ERasmus programmes in Spain every year and these figures continue to grow. Ireland also see thousands of their students travelling on j1 visas in the summer to the US.
Last summer saw the tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley, California which claimed the lives of six Irish students. This was one of the most devastating accidents that has happened to students on trips abroad.