Number of casualties as school coach flips over M53 sparking huge rescue operation

29 September 2023, 10:02 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 10:14

M53 school bus crash
M53 school bus crash. Picture: Global

By StephenRigley

A school bus has overturned on the M53 with fears children could have been hurt in the collision.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Witnesses say children were escaping from the back window and were standing on the hard shoulder as a huge emergency response is underway in the Merseyside area.

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

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.

Read More: Top police officer faces probe for wearing Falklands medal despite being too young to fight in the war

Read more: Moment disqualified motorcyclist flips off bike as it explodes in fireball, after crash on residential street

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."