Tragedy avoided after school bus hits bridge

Reporter:

Phil Robinson and Garth ApThomas

FORTY children had a remarkable escape when their school bus crashed into a railway bridge over a main road yesterday afternoon.

Although the top deck of the double-decker Volvo bus was badly damaged in the incident in Cefn-y-Bedd, none of the children, who were on their way home to the
Wirral after school trip to the area, was badly injured.

However, a number are thought to have been badly shaken by their ordeal.

They were taken to nearby Abermorddu Primary School to await a replacement bus to take them home.

Arriva Trains Wales rail services on the Wrexham to Deeside line which crosses above the bridge were temporarily halted to allow Network Rail experts to check the condition of the bridge but were running again before 4pm.

North Wales Police say they were called to the scene, near Cefn-y-Bedd rail station, just before 3pm.

A spokesman said: “The bus appears to have gone under the bridge with the roof being damaged.

“The bus was not trapped under the bridge and no-one was injured.”

The bus was being operated by Happy Al’s Coaches of Birkenhead where a spokesman said: “The children were all from the Wirral and had been on a school outing to North Wales.

“We have sent out another bus to bring them back.

“As there is a police investigation, I am not prepared to say any more at this time.”

A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said they were called to the scene to ensure no one had been trapped in the vehicle but were not required and left shortly afterwards.

A spokesman for Network Rail, which owns the bridge, said experts were sent to the scene of the incident to assess its structural safety.

He added: “Train services were halted for a short time but returned to normal at 3.44pm.”

At the scene, Sergeant Alun Davies, of North Wales Police, said: “There were no injuries, some of the children were shaken by the incident.

“Abermorddu School agreed to accommodate the children while alternative transport arrangements were made.

“Inspections are now being carried out.”

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “One ambulance, a rapid response vehicle and duty officer were sent to the scene.

“The bus driver was treated for shock, all the children were checked. No-one was taken to hospital.”

A number of accidents have occurred after high vehicles collided with the bridge in recent years.

A double decker bus had its top deck ripped off in 2005.

See full story in the Leader

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