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France Accident crash

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Four dead in latest crash on French ‘road of death’

Cars drive past a roadside traffic speed radar placard in Saint Jean d'Illac near Bordeaux, southwestern France, May 12, 2011. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Five people were killed and 27 others injured Sunday when a bus carrying Portuguese tourists crashed off a highway in central France known locally as the "road of death", authorities said.

The 40-seat bus was on its way to Switzerland when tragedy struck, the local Creusot-Info website said.

Before dawn, the bus crashed off the Central Europe Atlantic Road in the Saone-et-Loire region, that sees several accidents a year, many of them deadly.

It appears the driver may have lost control of the vehicle because of ice on the road.

As a cold wave hits much of Europe, a weather alert has been issued for central and eastern France.

In March last year, 12 Portuguese passengers died when their minibus collided with a lorry on the same motorway.