A sobbing schoolgirl was pulled from the wreckage of a bus crash on the M53 which killed a 14-year-old and the coach driver.
The haunting scene greeted emergency services after a bus carrying schoolchildren crashed with a car and flipped onto its side in Hooton, Cheshire, at 8.30am today.
The coach, with 54 people on board, was carrying pupils from West Kirby all-girls grammar and Calday Grange all-boys grammar school in Merseyside.
Thirteen children are in hospital, two of whom are seriously injured, police said in a press conference this afternoon. Those two children were taken immediately from the scene to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
A paramedic who rushed to the scene claimed he had come across one girl who was weeping in the aftermath, who said the crash was ‘very scary’ and hauntingly claimed ‘I thought I was going to die’.
Aerial photos show the bus lying on its side with debris around it after flipping over on the M53 this morning
Police confirmed in a press conference this afternoon that the driver and a 14-year-old girl have been killed in the bus crash on the M53
An aerial picture shows the overturned coach carrying school pupils on the M53 motorway
Emergency services at the scene of the crash between junction 5 at Ellesmere Port and junction 4 at Bebbington
A witness said children were escaping out of the back window after the crash on the M53
A host of emergency services vehicles remains at the scene tonight after the crash this morning
Police officers comb the M53 this evening in the aftermath of the fatal crash
According to the local councillor for Upton By Chester, Sherin Akhtar, the crash involves children from Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School for girls
Emergency services were called on Friday after reports of an overturned coach on the northbound M53 near to junction 5 at Hooton, Cheshire
He told MailOnline: ‘She was crying her eyes out. She was in shock and said it was horrible and very scary. I think some of the older kids helped her out.
‘She said she thought she was going to die in the bus.’
He added: ‘The bus was a mess. The children were in shock. It’s going to take a long time for them to get over, what they’ve seen.’
A further 50 children were taken to an emergency centre where they were medically assessed. Of those, 39 have been discharged but the remainder have been taken to hospital for further treatment.
Specialist support is being offered to the families of both victims.
Trauma support is being put in place for the pupils, as well as children from both schools on other buses travelling in convoy who witnessed the horror.
Chief Superintendent Graeme Robson said: ‘Our thoughts and condolences are very much with their family and friends at this tragic time.’
A schoolgirl on the crashed bus told a paramedic: ‘It was very scary – I thought I was going to die’.
The paramedic, who checked the girl over at the scene, said: ‘She was crying her eyes out. She was in shock and said it was horrible and very scary.
‘I think some of the older kids helped her out. She said she thought she was going to die in the bus.’
He added: ‘The bus was a mess. The children were in shock. ‘It’s going to take a long time for them to get over, what they’ve seen.’
The bus involved belonged to Carvers Coaches based in Ellesmere Port.
The motorway will be closed for a number of hours while investigative work is carried out.
Mark Thomas, area manager of Merseyside Fire and Rescue service, told a press conference: ‘Firefighters worked with emergency services colleagues at scene to stabilise the vehicle. We ensured the scene was safe, and we assisted casualties exiting the bus.
‘Working jointly with our police and ambulance colleagues, shortly after we were able to assist the casualties onto a second coach to receive care away from the scene.
‘Our operations are currently scaling down, and currently we stay at the scene, in attendance, to preserve the scene with Merseyside Police whilst an investigation is conducted.
‘The thoughts of everyone at Merseyside Police Fire and Rescue Service are with the friends, the colleagues, and the families of all of those involved in this terrible incident.’
Joanne Clague, area director for North West Ambulance Service and Merseyside, said a major incident was declared following reports of a crash involving a coach on Friday morning.
She added: ‘This was due to the potential number of casualties involved.
‘As a result, we sent a substantial number of ambulances, senior clinicians and our hazardous area response teams. A critical care doctor was also dispatched to the scene.
‘Tragically, we can confirm that there were two fatalities as a result of this crash.
‘A further two patients were taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with serious injuries.
‘In addition, we have taken a number of patients to surrounding hospitals to be treated for minor injuries.’
A close up photo of the stricken bus on the side of the M53 motorway today
Emergency services were called on Friday shortly after 8am to reports of an overturned coach on the northbound M53 near to junction five at Hooton, Cheshire
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘My heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragic accident on the Wirral this morning. Unimaginably sad news.’
Witnesses earlier said children were escaping from the back window and standing on the hard shoulder as shocking photos showed the damaged bus lying completely on its side in the road.
A major incident was declared by the ambulance service and two local hospitals.
Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool is asking parents to only bring children to their emergency department if it is urgent as they are currently ‘extremely busy’ following the crash.
The ambulance service said they rushed to the scene after reports of a road traffic collision between a car and a coach.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they arrived at the scene to find the overturned bus with a number of casualties.
A witness told the Guardian there were ‘clearly casualties outside the coach, there were pupils on the floor’.
Calday Grammar School in the Wirral said earlier they were aware of a situation involving one of their school buses on the motorway earlier today.
In a tweet the school wrote: ‘We’re actively gathering details and assisting affected students and their families.
‘If you need to talk or seek guidance, please reach out to our teaching and pastoral teams.’
Labour MP Dame Angela Eagle, who represents Wallasey, said her thoughts were with those impacted.
‘I’m sure over the coming days we will find out what actually has happened with this crash and we will find out more information.
‘My thoughts are with all of those who have pupils at both schools and their families and also with the emergency services who have been having to respond to this incident as it has unfolded today,’ she told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme.
Councillor Akhtar posted a statement on Facebook which read: ‘I can confirm and am aware of an accident on the M53 this morning going towards the Wirral/ Birkenhead.
‘It involves a Carvers coach (W3) travelling to Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar school for girls.
‘Whilst this is a live situation, I would like to assure residents that I am working on their behalf and offer support and will endeavour to update, as soon as possible.’
A stretch of motorway on the M53 is closed after the incident this morning
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they arrived at the scene to find an overturned bus with a number of casualties
West Kirkby school has 1,270 girls aged 11 to 18.
A witness who tweeted a photo showing a bus lying on its side wrote: ‘Crash on the M53 towards Liverpool just after J5. Coach on the side with school kids escaping for the back window. Hope all the kids got out ok.’
Another said: ‘Drove past that was awful to see all the kids standing on the hard shoulder.’
‘Praying for them kids on the M53,’ another added.
North West Ambulance Service said in a statement this morning: ‘North West Ambulance Service has declared a major incident following a road traffic collision between a coach and a car on the M53 northbound at approximately 8.30 this morning.
‘The trust dispatched a large number of resources to the scene, including ambulances, advances paramedics, our Hazardous Area Response team and a HEMS doctor.
‘So far, one female patient has been taken to the hospital, suffering major trauma-related injuries. There are also nearly 50 other patients being assessed at the scene. We are working closely with our incident partners to convey people away from the scene as quickly as possible.’
Labour Member of Parliament for Birkenhead Mick Whitley said: ‘My thoughts are with everyone who’s been affected by the terrible incident on the M53.
‘Please keep clear of the area and allow the emergency services to do their work. If you’re a Birkenhead constituent who’s been affected, I will do whatever I can to support you.’
Calday Grammar School in the Wirral said they are aware of a situation involving one of their school buses on the motorway earlier today
Merseyside Police tweeted: ‘Emergency services are dealing with an RTC along the M53 junction 5 northbound. Please avoid this area and find an alternative route.’
A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service told the Liverpool Echo: ‘Fire crews have been called to the scene of a road traffic collision between junctions 5 and 4 of the M53 on the northbound carriageway this morning.
‘Two fire engines and the Search and Rescue Team are in attendance. Crews were alerted at 8.05am and on scene at 8.16am.
‘Crews arrived at the scene to find an overturned bus with a number of casualties. North West Ambulance and Merseyside Police are also in attendance.
‘The incident is ongoing and the carriageway will remain closed for some time.
At least 10 police vehicles, four fire engines and five ambulances are said to be at the scene this morning.’
Merseyside Police said this morning: ‘We can confirm that emergency services are on the M53 in Hooton following a collision involving a bus on the motorway.
‘Just after 8am we received a report that a bus had struck a reservation on Junction 5 of the M53. Junctions 3-5 of the M53 are closed in both directions.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is currently ensuring the safe removal of passengers and the driver, and North West Ambulance Service are at the scene attending to anyone requiring treatment.
‘Motorists are advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes, and we advise people to remain patient while the incident is ongoing.
‘Enquiries are ongoing and updates will be issued as soon as possible. Please note this incident is ongoing and we are urging people to refrain from speculating or publishing any sensitive information that could be distressing online or via social media platforms.’
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam footage or CCTV is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC quoting 23000944471.
You can also call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/
National Highways North West said: ‘The incident occurred shortly after 8am this morning.
‘All emergency services are on scene along with North West Air Ambulance Services.
‘National Highways Traffic Officers are on scene providing assistance with traffic management.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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