Belfast Telegraph

11 people injured after bus and tractor crash in Northern Ireland

By Mark Bain

Eleven people were taken to hospital after a bus and tractor collided in Newtownards yesterday afternoon.

One of those injured is in a serious condition, one is stable and the other nine are comfortable, the Ulster Hospital confirmed last night.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the crash.

The Belfast Road remained closed for a time last night, but was later reopened.

Shortly before 4.10pm the tractor, towing a trailer, collided with the bus close to the junction of Ballybarnes Road.

It is understood the bus was on the number 10 route from Belfast and heading towards Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula.

In a Facebook post, bus passenger Robert McCready (26) said he was still in shock after the collision.

"There were only about three of us who could walk away, the rest were taken by ambulance to hospital or to A&E by family members," he said.

"I was on the phone and the first thing I knew was that I could see the tanker uncouple from the tractor and it was rolling down towards the bus.

"It hit the side of us and the top popped off and all this liquid poured out, we did not know if it was water or petrol.

"We couldn't get out the front so we exited at the back."

Mr McCready said the bus driver had to be cut from the vehicle by the Fire Service and said there were a number of passengers who had what looked like serious leg and head injuries.

"We were very lucky it wasn't any worse," he said.

Translink said there were 14 passengers on board and that it would be investigating what happened.

Ards and North Down DUP councillor Robert Adair said: "It's a bus I would travel on quite regularly and it's a great concern when things like these happen.

"I'm praying that all those involved and taken to hospital are safe and well."

The Ulster Hospital said that treating people involved in the crash had led to delays for other patients in the A&E department.

"Our emergency department is busy this evening and patients may be required to wait longer than we would wish. We appreciate your understanding at this time," it said.

The PSNI said: "Police are appealing for witnesses following a two-vehicle road traffic collision on the Belfast Road in Newtownards this afternoon, Monday 16 July.

"It was reported that shortly before 4.10pm a tractor, towing a trailer, was involved in a collision with a bus close to the junction of Ballybarnes Road.

"Fifteen people who were travelling on the bus were treated at the scene, a number of them were taken to hospital for further treatment.

"None of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

"Police are now appealing for anyone who was travelling on the Belfast Road and who witnessed the collision to contact our officers in Newtownards on 101, quoting reference 948 16/07/18."

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