Children injured as bus overturns
Published 26/02/2013 | 10:31
Thirteen children had a lucky escape when their school bus overturned in Co Down.
The driver, a carer and passing motorists managed to pull them free when the bus flipped unto its side after being hit from behind by a van.
Some were treated for cuts and bruises and were left badly shaken before being taken to hospital. All but one were discharged.
One woman who pulled up in her car to help with the rescue said: "It was like a horror movie."
Eight males and five females, aged up to 19, and all with learning difficulties were on their way to Knockevin Special Needs school at Racecourse Hill, Downpatrick, when the accident happened near a crossroads at Vianstown Road.
The bus toppled over and windows were smashed but all the children, including one in a wheelchair, were strapped into their seats.
The driver managed to climb back to where they were lying and help calm them before two women arrived to assist in the rescue.
Several ambulances arrived at the scene and a doctor treated some of the children by the roadside. Some were taken to a nearby bungalow and looked after until the paramedics arrived. They were later transferred to the Ulster and Downe hospitals.
The driver and carer were also allowed to go home.
One eyewitness said the bus was struck from behind by a van close to a road junction, adding that there was a lot of blood and broken glass.