Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported the crash occurred along the A16 highway between Monteforte Irpino and Baiano, about 160 miles south of Rome, with the bus winding up among trees and bushes in the ravine 30 meters (98 feet) below the roadway. The news agency said police stated only 11 of the 48 people on board survived. The New York Times, citing local news reports, said there were at least 36 fatalities.
AGI said the passengers included elderly people, young people and children who had been on a trip to Telese Terme. The news agency said it appeared the driver was among the dead.
The Times said highway police told state radio the motor coach ran into cars that had slowed for heavy traffic.