School car crash in which nine injured was not deliberate say police
A lollipop lady and five children and four adults are thought to have been seriously injured in a car crash outside a primary school.
A crash in which five children and four adults were injured when a car overturned near a primary school is "not believed to be a deliberate act", police said today.
A 61-year-old man who was driving an Audi and is among those hurt is helping police with their inquiries.
The nine injured, thought to include a lollipop lady, were taken to two hospitals following the collision near Rhoose Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan, which happened at around 8.50am as children were arriving at school.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: "The 61-year-old male driver of the vehicle, who is one of the nine casualties, is assisting police with inquiries.
"At this stage, the collision is not believed to be a deliberate act."
He added: "The school, which is open, is contacting parents and the Vale of Glamorgan Council is offering support to both school and pupils."
Emergency services described the "major incident" as "very serious", but it is understood there were no deaths.
A lollipop lady's stick lay on the ground near a pelican crossing at the scene, where the Audi landed on its roof on the pavement, sandwiched between a green car and a line of trees. Various pieces of clothing were strewn across the pavement.
Four children with head and/or abdomen injuries and two adults with fractures were taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, while two adults and another child, all with minor injuries, were taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, a Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said.
The spokesman said the incident was "declared a major incident due to the number of casualties involved and their injuries".
Two rapid response vehicles, four emergency ambulances, a basics doctor, the hazardous area response team (Hart) and the Helimed helicopter were sent to the scene, he added.
The Wales Air Ambulance "flew through adverse weather conditions to make it to the scene" in Fontygary Road, Rhoose, and treated three patients, but did not take any patients to hospital, a spokesman said.
"Adverse weather continued to close in and the patients were assessed as suitable to travel by road," he said.
Ian Morris, divisional manager for surgery at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, said: "The emergency unit at University Hospital of Wales is treating adults and children involved in the incident in Rhoose.
"The unit has specialist procedures in place for dealing with serious incidents and those have been activated to care for those involved.
"The priority now is treating those involved and supporting their families."
Glenys Watson, who works at a cafe on the same road, said the scene was "like a war zone".
"I've never seen so many police cars," she told the BBC.
Vale of Glamorgan Tory MP Alun Cairns wrote on Twitter: "A terrible incident has taken place in Rhoose. My heart goes out to those affected. I am liaising with police over communication and support."
A resident quoted by the BBC News website said: "Apparently the driver had a coughing fit and slammed on the accelerator instead of the brake.
"The lollipop lady was escorting a number of kids across the road at the time.
"The road is closed and air ambulances are on the way, heaps of ambulances and fire engines are at the scene."
The primary school, around five miles from the town of Barry, also has a nursery unit.