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23 taken to hospital after crash

More than 20 people have been taken to hospital after a coach carrying tourists overturned on a popular route.

The vehicle left the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll and came to a stop near a loch at around 2.10pm today in what was described as a "terrifying experience".

It is understood 23 people were taken to hospital, with the seriously injured airlifted for treatment. However, their injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

There were 52 people on board the Lochs and Glens Holidays coach and 25 of those were described as ''walking wounded'' following the crash.

A rest centre in Arrochar was opened for the remaining passengers, and 29 of them are now being accommodated in local hotels.

Photographs from the scene showed the coach standing upright on an embankment off the road, next to a stretch of water.

Police said it is believed the high winds in the area at the time were a possible factor.

Chief Inspector Fraser Candlish said: "This has clearly been a terrifying experience for all of those involved and officers have been working closely with our partners to provide support to those affected and ensure everyone's safety.

"Inquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the incident, however early indications would suggest that the high winds may have been a factor.

"We are currently working to recover the vehicle and reopen the road but I would urge anyone planning on travelling to keep up-to-date with road closures, plan your route, leave enough time for your journey, and most importantly, stay safe."

Police, fire and helicopter rescue crews were sent to the scene around 200 metres north of the B828 junction and the road was closed while emergency services treated passengers and investigated the cause of the accident.

Local diversions remain in place at the A819 at Inverary and also at the A82 north of Tarbet.

Lochs and Glens Holidays runs a number of coach trips, mainly in the Scottish Highlands, but picks up passengers across the UK.

A spokeswoman for the company said: ''We are liaising with the emergency services regarding the injured passengers and to establish the cause of the accident.

''In the meantime, buses have been provided to transport the remaining passengers back to their hotel.''


From Belfast Telegraph