Saturday 3 December 2016

Seventeen hurt as bus has roof ripped off by low bridge

Danny Boyle

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

A photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @gmptraffic of the scene after a double-decker bus smashed into a bridge, ripping its roof completely off at Rochdale railway station, near Manchester, injuring 17 people.
A photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @gmptraffic of the scene after a double-decker bus smashed into a bridge, ripping its roof completely off at Rochdale railway station, near Manchester, injuring 17 people.

Seventeen people were hurt after a bus had its roof ripped off when it smashed into a bridge in Rochdale, England.

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Twenty-five people are believed to have been on board when the double-decker, operated by First Manchester, crashed yesterday afternoon.

Greater Manchester Police said a man and woman suffered "serious" facial injuries. A total of 17 people - including one who suffered a broken jaw - were hurt and 11 of them were taken to hospital for treatment.

GMP said officers were called to the scene, in Milkstone Road, shortly before 12.30pm.

Fire and ambulance crews were also called to the bridge, where the number 17 had its roof shaved off on impact.

First Manchester denied reports the female driver had been on her first day in the job.

Video footage taken from the aftermath shows people on the top deck slowly stand up before assessing the devastation around them.

The roof of the bus was left lying in the road with its top-deck seat tops clearly visible and surrounded by broken glass.

One witness said he rushed to the scene after hearing the crash and began to help the casualties as they alighted the bus, fearing those on the top deck could have been decapitated. One passenger described the incident, near Rochdale railway station, as the "scariest moment of my life".

Wedged

Pictures posted on social media showed the vehicle wedged under the bridge, with its roof lying in the road surrounded by broken glass and the top deck exposed.

A spokesman said the bridge had been checked and trains were "running normally".

Inspector Stephen Clarke, from GMP's Rochdale division, said: "We are working closely with the emergency services to deal with all the passengers who have been involved in this incident and ensure they are all receiving the appropriate treatment.

"Clearly there are lots of people in shock, but luckily no one was trapped on the bus."

He added: "Our investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing and we would encourage anyone with any information to get in touch.

"Obviously there will be traffic congestion in the area for the next few hours, and we would encourage all traffic to avoid the area where possible."

Teresa Broxton, managing director of First Manchester, said: "At this time our primary focus is to assist customers and staff involved.

"Staff from First in Manchester are providing support to the emergency services at the scene. We will provide whatever additional resources we can."

A spokesman for First said that the bus was being driven by a woman and dismissed reports that it had been the driver's first day on the job.

North West Ambulance Service said 16 vehicles were sent to the crash site, including four hazardous area response teams.

Irish Independent

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