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Read the full statement’s from today’s press conference about the M53 school coach crash

9 months ago

Read the full statement’s from today’s press conference about the M53 school coach crash
M53 School Bus Crash. Credit: Peter Byrne / PA

Merseyside Police have released the full statements from today’s press conference about the M53 coach crash.

Sadly it was confirmed that a 14-year-old schoolgirl and a bus driver have died following the motorway crash involving a coach and a car.

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.

Merseyside Police Chief Superintendent Graeme Robson told a press conference there were 54 people on the bus including the driver and Merseyside Fire and Rescue helped passengers escape the debris.

Chief Superintendent Graeme Robson said: 

“Emergency services (Police, Fire and Ambulance) were called to reports of an overturned bus on the M53 at 8.03am this morning.

“We can confirm that the bus was a school bus that was taking pupils to West Kirby and Calday Grammar Schools on the Wirral.

“Two children were removed from the scene to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

“50 other children were taken to an Emergency Training Centre where they were medically assessed and eight of those 50 children have been taken to the Countess of Chester and Arrowe Park Hospitals.

“Our thoughts and condolences are very much with their families and friends at this tragic time.

“Family Liaison Officers are providing specialist support to both families and we are working with both schools and Wirral and Cheshire West Councils to ensure the necessary trauma support is in place for the children on the bus.

“We also know that other children from both schools were on buses travelling in convoy with the bus involved in the incident and witnessed the incident. They too will be provided with appropriate trauma support.

“The motorway is expected to be closed for a number of hours whilst investigative work is carried out and we would like to thank motorists for their patience whilst the investigation is ongoing.

“Diversions are in place and, where possible, take alternative routes.

“I would also like to remind people that there is an investigation underway and would ask people to refrain from posting anything on social media that could hamper that investigation and not to speculate.”

Joanne Clague NWAS Area Director for Cheshire and Merseyside said: 

” Firstly, I would like to pass on our condolences to all those involved in this incident.

“Following reports of a crash involving a coach this morning, we declared a major incident. 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 the crash.  Two patients were taken to Alder Hey with serious injuries. In addition, we have also taken a number of patients to surrounding hospitals to be treated for minor injuries.   

50 children were transported to a casualty clearing centre at the Emergency Service Training Centre in Wallasey. 

“Assessments have taken place by our clinicians there, and 39 patients have been discharged, with 13 taken or referred to local hospitals for treatment for minor injuries.  

I would like to thank our emergency service colleagues for their support in ensuring the scene was safe so we were able to identify the most seriously injured first whilst safeguarding all those involved in the incident.  

“Again, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those affected.”

MFRS Area Manager, Mark Thomas, said: “Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service attended an incident on the M53 northbound carriageway this morning. Two fire engines and our Search and Rescue Team were mobilised at 8.05am to reports of a school bus overturned.

“Firefighters stabilised the vehicle, ensured the scene was safe, and assisted casualties exiting. 

“Working jointly with our police and ambulance colleagues, we were able to assist the casualties onto a second coach to receive care away from the scene. 

“Our operations have been scaled down and currently we remain in attendance to preserve the scene while Merseyside Police conduct their investigation. 

“Our thoughts are very much with the family and all those affected by this incident.”

Simone White, Director for Children, Families and Education, Wirral Council

said: “On behalf of Wirral Council I offer my sincerest condolences to everyone affected by this tragic incident today.

“Council staff are working closely with the schools since being made aware of the incident this morning.

“As everyone will understand, the focus for the schools and ourselves at the moment is on supporting their pupils, the families and the wider school community.

“In the meantime, Wirral will work with other local areas to support those affected, providing whatever support and assistance that may be needed, in addition to supporting the emergency services in their response to this incident – we will continue to do whatever we can to help.”

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