By Middleton Prince
The wives of two British brothers have died, along with a child, after the 4×4 they were in crashed off a bridge in Iceland, local media is reporting.
Four other people – said to be the two men and two more children, aged seven and nine – were seriously injured, police said.
India’s embassy in Iceland confirmed the car contained two brothers, their wives and families, Iceland’s national broadcaster, RUV, said.
Iceland Monitor said the embassy had also confirmed the wives’ deaths, along with that of a “very young child”.
The accident occurred at around 9.30am when the vehicle slammed through a railing while crossing a high single-lane bridge at Skeidararsandur, a vast sand plain in southern Iceland.
The Toyota Land Cruiser rental car fell at least six metres (20ft) onto the rocky river bank below, on its side.
While officers doubted the road had been icy, they said humidity could have made the surface slippery.
They are waiting to question the injured, who were airlifted to hospital in Reykjavik.
The Indian Ambassador to Iceland, T Armstrong Changsan, is believed to have visited them.
The crash site was described as “horrifying” by tour guide Adolf Erlingsson, who was among the first on the scene with two police officers.
He told Sky News: “It was quite a horrific scene. The car went off the bridge and just crashed down – I would guess five or six metres – and was really badly damaged.
“When I got there, there were four people out of the car – one of them deceased.
“Three more were trapped inside, two of them probably deceased, and the other trapped under the dashboard.”
Police said it remains unclear what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
The victims have only been identified as British.
The Foreign Office is “supporting the family of several British nationals” and is in “close contact with the Icelandic authorities”, a spokesperson said.
Mr Erlingsson said that he can’t understand how the accident happened and had not noticed any ice on the bridge.
“The conditions this morning were not bad at all. The temperature was a little bit above freezing point and I didn’t detect any ice.
“For some reason the driver lost control of the car, hit the railing and plunged down.”
He said he was transporting 19 tourists around south Iceland in his own vehicle, at the time.
The accident occurred hours before the North Atlantic island saw sunrise, which reached the capital, Reykjavik, at 11.23am.
Johann K Johannsonn, a journalist from Iceland, told Sky News the bridge is “really narrow”.
He said the vehicle rolled over in the middle of the bridge and the four people who were seriously injured were rushed to hospital in helicopters.