At least 36 dead as bus plunges into ravine

at least 36 people died on Sunday after a coach plunged more than 15 metres off a viaduct in southern Italy, a spokesman for the fire service said.

Eleven people have been pulled out alive from the stricken coach and taken to hospital, some with serious injuries, the spokesman said.

The coach was carrying about 48 people back to Naples following a pilgrimage in the southern region of Campania, Italian daily La Repubblica reported.

"The situation is dramatic," said the fire service spokesman, adding that several other vehicles had also been involved in the accident. Rescue operations are ongoing.