COVILHA, Portugal — A tour bus on an excursion to Portugal's highest mountain range plunged more than 490 feet down a steep hillside, killing 19 passengers and seriously injuring 34 others, a hospital official said Sunday.
Fernando Pinto, a spokesman for the paramilitary National Republican Guard, said the accident occured Saturday afternoon as the bus traveled to Covilha from Torre, which at 6,532 feet is the highest point in Portugal.
The bus plunged into a 490-foot-deep ravine about three miles outside Covilha, which is 190 miles northeast of Lisbon.
The bus was carrying mostly middle-aged tourists from the Oporto suburb of Gondomar.
Antonio Lopes of Covilha's fire department, one of the first to reach the crash scene, said the bus' brakes may have failed on the steep road down from Torre.