Belfast Telegraph

Children heard screaming for help - Miracle escape after school bus ends on roof in horror crash

Children heard screaming and crying for help

By Jonathan Bell

A Tyrone councillor said it was incredible no one was killed or seriously injured in a horror crash involving a school minibus which ended on its roof and in the garden of a home.

The minibus, reported to be from Sperrinview Special School, was involved in a crash at around 3.30pm with a car on the Knockmany Road in Augher.

The distinctive Education Authority vehicle was left battered and on its roof in the garden of a roadside house, just inches away from the front living room window. The car meanwhile was left wedged in a hedge.

Witnesses described hearing hearing the children scream and cry for help.

Emergency services were sent to the scene including the air ambulance, although it was not needed.

Four children were onboard the bus. They were helped to safety through a rear door by the driver and another woman passenger as well as those nearby who rushed to the scene.

A Southern Trust spokesman said three men and some of the children involved were taken to Craigavon Area Hospital. Their injuries were described as relatively minor with just cuts and bruises. The children attended hospital only for check-ups and were discharged shortly afterwards. The remaining adults were expected to be discharged on Wednesday evening.

"Given the scale of the accident it was very fortunate indeed there was not a fatality, incredible really," UUP councillor Robert Mulligan told the Belfast Telegraph. He lives about two miles from the scene and was there within moments of it happening.

"The children had to be helped out through the back of the bus. The bus driver was up on his feet and able to help. He was great. The woman in the car was also helped out of her vehicle. The car was left high up a hedge.

"The children were collected by their parents. They were traumatised - which isn't surprising given what they must have been through - but they were very lucky."

Mr Mulligan said the homeowner was not in at the time of the incident and was left shocked at what greeted him when he arrived back. He said the incident happened at a busy time and close to a junction, but it wasn't a known accident blackspot.

The Education Authority said confirmed one of its vehicles was involved in a crash and it was offering support to those involved. Police said there were no serious injuries and they were investigating.

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