16 students from Hungary were killed in a bus collision as they were traveling from a ski trip in France. The bus caught fire after crashing into a pillar near the Verona East Junction in Northern Italy.
There were 54 people on the bus including students ages 14-18, teachers and two drivers. Of those aboard, more than 40 people were injured.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and we share the pain that rends the hearts of many families and the entire Hungarian community," said Stefano Paris, president of of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Italy.
"We pray that the Lord will comfort and console with His love those who have lost their beloved; to heal the wounded and soothe the psychological suffering of the survivors, after this frightening experience. We remember Jesus' promise of a day when God shall wipe away all tears, and death and pain will be no more," Paris added.
Authorities have opened an investigation into the cause of the accident.
"I invite the Adventist churches in Italy to join in prayer for all those who have been affected by this tragedy," concluded Paris.
The public relations department for the Inter-European region of the Seventh-day Adventist Church says its leaders and members will pray that the Lord will support all those who have been affected by this tragedy.