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School bus carrying up to 50 children collides with car

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The smash involving a bus and car on the Omagh Road in Drumquin. Photo: Pacemaker

The smash involving a bus and car on the Omagh Road in Drumquin. Photo: Pacemaker

The smash involving a bus and car on the Omagh Road in Drumquin. Photo: Pacemaker

A 'major incident' has been declared after 53 people were injured as a school bus collided with a car in Co Tyrone.

The smash happened on the Omagh Road in Drumquin at around 8.20am on Monday morning.

It's understood the Translink bus - which had been ferrying children to secondary schools in Omagh - crashed through a hedge and into a field before turning on its side.

It had been travelling from Castlederg when the accident happened.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said round 50 secondary school children were treated at the scene for injuries not believed to be serious.

The spokesman said some of the minor injuries included children banging their heads off bus windows.

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The smash involving a bus and car on the Omagh Road in Drumquin. Photo: Pacemaker

The smash involving a bus and car on the Omagh Road in Drumquin. Photo: Pacemaker

The smash involving a bus and car on the Omagh Road in Drumquin. Photo: Pacemaker

Six people suffered injuries "more than minor injuries".

Those injured were taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, and the South West Acute Hospital in Fermanagh.

Sinn Fein councillor Frankie Donnelly - who visited the scene - said those involved in the crash were lucky not to have been seriously injured.

"The bus and car both ended up in a field, and thankfully, it appears there were no serious injuries on the face of it," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The bus was on its side, and although not in great shape, it was still intact."

He said the experience would have been "extremely traumatic" for the young children involved.

"I would commend the response from everyone involved - dealing with these young people caught up in this accident.

"The other school buses were still in the area this morning, and I can imagine it would have been traumatic for those students as well."

"The crash happened on a very straight part of the road. I live just a short distance away - it was a very bright sunny morning and that can often make it very difficult for driving."

A spokeswoman for Translink said: "We can confirm that an incident has occurred involving an Ulsterbus carrying school pupils and a car on the Drumquin Road, County Tyrone, at approximately 8.20am.

"Emergency services were called to the scene and an investigation in underway."

The road has been closed the Segully Road and Drumrawn Road junctions.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he was "relieved to hear there are no serious injuries" to children involved in the crash.

SDLP councillor Dr Josephine Deehan said the incident was "of great concern".

"Thankfully, it appears no-one was seriously injured and that will bring great relief to the loved ones of those involved," she said.

"However, this must be an extremely traumatic ordeal for everyone involved, and it will have left everyone very badly shaken.

"The incident is of great concern, and it highlights how the safety of our children is of paramount importance. We will await the outcome of the investigation to determine exactly what happened."

Belfast Telegraph