Major incident is declared after bus carrying pupils from two grammar schools crashes on the M53 leaving up to 50 injured and one female passenger with 'major trauma-related injuries'

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  • The crash involves Calday Grange Grammar and West Kirby Grammar pupils 
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A ‘major incident’ has been declared after a school bus overturned in a horror smash on the M53 this morning with a ‘number of casualties’ and pupils trapped inside.

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

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

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. 

A shocking photo shows a damaged coach completely on its side in the road, along the M53 junction 5 northbound.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they arrived at the scene to find an overturned bus with a number of casualties. 

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

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.  

A witness said children were escaping out of the back window after the crash on the M53

A witness said children were escaping out of the back window after the crash on the M53

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

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

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 they are 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.’

Councillor 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.’

West Kirkby school has 1,270 girls aged 11 to 18. 

The ambulance service said they rushed to the scene after reports of a road traffic collision between a car and a coach. 

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.  

A stretch of motorway on the M53 is closed after the incident this morning

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

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they arrived at the scene to find an overturned bus with a number of casualties

North West Ambulance Service said in a statement: ‘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

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 in a statement: ‘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.’




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