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Sunday 16 December 2018

School bus crash: 24 students and two adults hospitalised

  • Students en-route to school when bus crashed
  • Significant emergency response deployed to the scene
  • 26 people - including 24 students - hospitalised
  • Education Minister pledges all resources will be available to affected school
  • Oireachtas Transport Committee opens with statement on crash
  • University Hospital Limerick form incident group
The incident occurred in the town land of Caherconlish known as Connelly’s Cross
The incident occurred in the town land of Caherconlish known as Connelly’s Cross

David Raleigh

Twenty four secondary school students and two adults have been hospitalised following a crash between a school bus and a car this morning.

The incident occurred in the town land of Caherconlish known as Connelly’s Cross in Co Limerick.

Around 46 students were on their way to a local secondary school in area when the crash happened at around 8.30am.

Station officer James Kearns  from the local fire brigade spoke to the Limerick Leader at the scene and said that 26 people - 24 of them students were hospitalised.

The scene of a bus and car crash near Caherconlish in Co Limerick. Photograph Press 22
The scene of a bus and car crash near Caherconlish in Co Limerick. Photograph Press 22

Two adults were also brought to hospital.

Injuries of varying levels were sustained by those in the crash but none are believed to be life-threatenining.

By the time emergency services had arrived the bus had been emptied of the pupils, the driver was still on the bus and there was a casualty in a car.

The scene is now being prepared for a handover to gardaí for a technical examination.

Several units of the Limerick city and council fire brigade and a fleet of ambulances attended the scene of the crash.

Injured students took shelter in a nearby disused filling station where they were assessed by paramedics.

A Medivac helicopter was also deployed to the scene.

The school bus overturned into a ditch as a result of the crash.

Electrical power lines were also knocked down in the incident.

Students, aged 13-18 were en-route to John the Baptist Community School in the village of Hospital.

Principal of the school, Ita Browne, told the Limerick leader that students brought to hospital were understood not to be seriously injured.

“There are a number of teachers and parents at the scene and we are in contact with them. I understand that a number of students have been taken to hospital but we understand their injuries aren’t serious," she told the paper.

All students have now been accounted for.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said news of the bus crash was “very worrying”.

“We are only hearing very early reports. My department is working with Bus Eireann. My thoughts are with the families and the children involved.

“I hope that everyone is well but we’ll have to wait and see what develops during the day,” he said.

Mr Bruton said his department will support the emergency crews working at the scene and the school community.

“This is an emergency situation where medical and all teams man the pumps. Whatever supports can be provided will be provided to the school community and to the children involved.”

He added: “It’s a worrying time and our hearts are with them.”

Transport minister Shane Ross began a statement to the Oireachtas Transport Committee by mentioning this morning's accident in Limerick.

He said full information about the incident is not yet available but that: "our thoughts are with the families at the moment".

He added: "It’s a sad and worrying time".

Bus Eireann in a statement confirmed that the bus involved was a sub-contracted vehicle.

The company is continuing to assist the relevant authorities.

"We would like to express our gratitude to all the emergency services for their rapid response, and we will continue to liaise with the school and parents of the injured students," the company said in a statement.

In a statement University Hospital Limerick said an incident group has been formed and additional staff assigned to the Emergency Department.

The Caterpillar Day Ward in the Children's Ark has been designated to receive patients.

People have been urged not to attend the Emergency Department while the incident is ongoing unless absolutely necessary.

More to follow...

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