President Mukherjee safe in Sweden after convoy involved in crash

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee and the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden have escaped unharmed following a 15-car pile-up involving their motorcade in the Swedish town of Uppsala, Swedish media reports said.

Rashtrapati Bhavan termed the reports "misleading" and said no one was hurt. In a tweet, the official @RashtrapatiBhvn handle posted: "Reports about accident involving convoy of #PresidentMukherjee misleading. Minor incident, nobody hurt, Prez and team on schedule to Minsk."


President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee listens during a boat trip to Hammarby Sjoestad and roundtable discussion about "Smart Cities" on June 1, 2015 in Stockholm on the second day of Shri Pranab Mukherjee's official three day visit in Sweden. Pic/ AFP

According to Swedish English language daily thelocal.se, President Mukherjee, Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel were travelling through Uppsala university city when they were involved in the crash on Monday evening. But nine people they were travelling with were taken to hospital.

Four cars in the Indian president's convoy are understood to have crashed as they approached a roundabout in the university city of Uppsala, the daily said. Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel were also making the journey but escaped unhurt, according to the Swedish Royal Court.

But several others were taken to hospital following the accident, which took place just after 4.30 p.m. The number of people injured was originally reported as six, but police later amended the figure to nine. "I have information saying nine people.

Two of them are supposed to have been put in an ambulance, the rest were taken to hospital in police cars. "No one is seriously injured. But this information could change," Christer Nordstrom, press officer at Uppsala police, told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

Mukherjee was due to give a speech at the Uppsala University as part of a three-day visit to the Nordic nation. He continued his journey to the Swedish institution, where he was joined by the royal couple, the report said. President Mukherjee is the first Indian head of state in history to visit Sweden.

He arrived over the weekend at the invitation of King Carl XVI Gustaf and was welcomed at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel before being given a ride in a horse-drawn cortege through the streets of the Swedish capital.

He has also held meetings with business leaders and the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan LAfven. A spokeswoman for the Swedish royal court told IBTimes UK that 15 vehicles including cars in the motorcade were involved in the accident on June 1.

She explained members of the Swedish royal staff and Indian presidential staff were injured but the cars of the dignitaries themselves had not been involved. In an official statement, a spokesman for the Upsala University Hospital, where the injured individuals were received, said: "It was a traffic accident with a number of patients, all of whom sustained minor injuries."

The hospital declined to comment further on the incident. Upsala police press officer Tommy Karlsson was quoted by Sweden's TT news agency as saying: "The president was not injured but I have no information on which people were."

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