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Bus carrying 67 plunges into a river

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A bridge collapsed in northern Portugal on Sunday, and a bus carrying 67 people plunged into a deep, fast-flowing river, news reports said.

Rescue officials said there was little chance of finding survivors.

The bridge over the Douro river near Penafiel, about 180 miles north of the capital Lisbon, gave way at about 9 p.m. local time, TSF radio reported.

Two other vehicles, believed to be cars, also fell into the river, TSF said citing local rescue officials.

All three vehicles reportedly disappeared beneath the water. The Douro, one of Portugal's largest rivers, was swollen by heavy rain.

A pillar of the 116-year-old bridge gave way, causing the roadway to collapse, TSF said. An 80-yard section of the 200-yard-long metal bridge gave way in the collapse, the national news agency Lusa reported.

"It's not going to be easy to find the bodies," Rescue coordinator Joao Abrantes told TSF.

The occupants of the double-decker tour bus reportedly were local people returning from a day trip. Three hours into the search, only one body had been recovered.

The nighttime search was hampered by fog. Rescue crews searched the banks of the river with torches while they waited for generators to provide light, TSF reported.

Rescue services sent five motorboats and more than 100 rescue workers to the scene, cable news channel SIC Noticias said. Navy divers were heading to the accident from the city of Porto, about 25 miles away, it said.