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Bus passenger prevents Alpine plunge after driver loses consciousness

A bus passenger has narrowly averted tragedy in Austria after the driver lost consciousness, helping to stop the vehicle at the point its front end was hanging over an Alpine abyss.

Police said the driver fainted on Saturday as the bus, which carried 24 people on board, mainly French tourists, was heading downhill from a pasture around 6,600ft above sea level, east of the city of Innsbruck.

The bus then gathered speed, repeatedly colliding with the mountainside lining the road.

The passenger dashed forward and applied the brakes. That action, helped by a guide rail piercing the front of the bus, brought the vehicle to a halt, but only after the front end was already jutting over a 330ft precipice.

Police said 10 people needed medical help, with four later taken to hospital.

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