Belfast Telegraph

Children suffer fractures after bus crashes in Co Limerick

Thirty two attend hospital after bus topples into ditch

Some children suffered fractures after the bus they were on crashed into a ditch, the HSE said.

A total of 32 people attended hospital after an accident involving at least one car at around 8.50am on Wednesday morning as pupils were being transported to classes in rural Limerick.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, although seven patients are still being assessed at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), the health authorities said.

They were on their way to St John the Baptist Community School in the village of Hospital in the south of the county.

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School bus crash Ireland

There were about 46 pupils on the 57-seater bus, which ended up on its side on the edge of the road.

A local resident reported hearing a loud bang. She said the car and bus were travelling in opposite directions along a route regularly used by coaches.

A HSE statement said: “Injuries sustained in the main consisted of musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries but also included a small number of fractures.”

None have so far been admitted as hospital inpatients after attending the emergency department.

Children and their families were offered counselling in the hospital and follow-up psychiatric support is being arranged through their school, the HSE added.

Noreen Rafferty, principal of the school, said the injuries were mostly minor and confined to “bruises and scrapes”.

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Gardai at the scene where a school bus crashed in Caherconlish, Co Limerick (Niall Carson/PA)

Other children who were on the bus at the time of the crash were taken to schools in the local area where they were being met by parents and relatives.

“They are very shocked and we are organising counselling,” Ms Rafferty said.

Gardai said the drivers of the bus and car were also taken to hospital.

The crash happened at Connolly’s Cross on the R513 road near Caherconlish in Co Limerick. The bus ended up in the ditch and turned on to its side.

The school transport service was operated by a sub-contractor on behalf of Bus Eireann.

“Bus Eireann are currently assisting the relevant authorities with their investigations into the incident,” the company said.

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Gardai at the scene where a school bus crashed in Caherconlish

At least seven ambulances and a number of fire brigades attended the scene, along with gardai.

An Air Corps helicopter, operating the emergency air medical service, was along dispatched from Athlone to the crash site but no-one was airlifted.

The road between Herbertstown and Caherline was closed following the accident.

University Hospital Limerick group chief executive officer Prof Colette Cowan said it was a distressing incident for all involved.

“Our staff at UHL showed exceptional dedication in managing the situation, with many turning up to help without having been called in.”

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