The Swiss Alps near Engelberg.
The Swiss Alps near Engelberg. Photo by Dreamstime
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JTA - Three Israeli tourists died and five others were wounded when their minibus collided with a train in Switzerland, Swiss authorities said.

The accident occurred Monday near Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland, the news site blick.ch quoted officials as saying at a news conference.

It was not immediately clear why the minibus crossed the railway tracks in a way that resulted in impact with the passing train. None of the train passengers were hurt.

The Israelis — four men and four women — were on their way to Engelberg just south of the lake, Jurg Wobmann, a local police officer, told the media. None were named, nor was the medical condition given of the five survivors, but blick reported that they were in serious condition.

Lorenz Muhmenthaler, another local police officer, said extracting the casualties from the mangled minibus was a complex operation that took a great deal of time. Some 50 rescuers worked at the accident scene.

According to the news site, the Israelis left Hotel Alpina in Wolfenschiessen on Monday morning on their way to Titlis.