Major incident declared after school bus flips over on M53 leaving up to 50 pupils injured - one with major trauma

29 September 2023, 11:22 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 11:41

Up to 50 pupils injured after a school bus flipped over in rush hour on the M53
Up to 50 pupils injured after a school bus flipped over in rush hour on the M53. Picture: Global

By StephenRigley

Authorities declared a 'major incident' after a school bus overturned in a horror smash on the M53 this morning with a 'number of casualties' and pupils still trapped inside.

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One female patient has been taken to hospital with major trauma-related injuries as 50 others are being checked over by ambulance crews at the scene in Hooton, Cheshire.

Witnesses say children were escaping from the back window and are standing on the M53 hard shoulder after the bus crashed with a car and struck a reservation just after 8am.

Scene on the M53 this morning
Scene on the M53 this morning. Picture: Global

The crash involves children from Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School for girls, according to the local councillor for Upton By Chester, Sherin Akhtar.

Crews are currently working to safely remove passengers, including the driver, as ambulance crews are attending to anyone needing treatment at the scene.

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Around 10 police vehicles, four fire engines and five ambulances raced to the area in Merseyside just after 8am. North West Air Ambulance Services was also scrambled to the scene, where part of the motorway has been closed entirely.

Merseyside police has tweeted: "Emergency services are dealing with an RTC along the M53 junction 5 northbound. Please avoid this area and find an alternative route."

A spokesman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue confirmed their attendance and said there were casualties.

Calday Grammar School in the Wirral has tweeted: "A situation involving one of our school buses on the highway earlier today has come to our attention. 

'If you need to talk or seek guidance, please reach out to our teaching and pastoral teams."

Councillor for Upton by Chester Sherin Akhtar posted a statement on Facebook which reads: "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.

"I am aware that children are being taken to Arrowe Park as precautionary."

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."

A spokesman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue said: "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."

National Highways Traffic Officers are also on scene providing assistance with traffic management. Merseyside Police contact centre tweeted: "Emergency services are dealing with an RTC along the M53 junction 5 northbound. Please avoid this area and find an alternative route."

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