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Cruise coach overturns on motorway

A coach carrying 26 passengers overturned while travelling on a motorway after the driver lost consciousness at the wheel, police said.

Eight people were being treated in hospital following the accident, which happened on the M3 southbound a mile from Fleet services at about 6pm on Sunday.

The Dutch-registered coach was filled with cruise passengers on their way to set sail from Southampton, Hampshire Police said.

Seven people received minor injuries while one was more seriously hurt having suffered a fractured bone, a force spokeswoman said. All the passengers were Dutch nationals, she added.

Speaking at the accident scene, Sgt Lyndon Barrett told ITV News: "Just after 6pm (on Sunday), police were called to a coach that left the carriageway on the M3, just north of Fleet Services.

"There were 26 passengers on board, plus the driver. The driver had become unwell and lost consciousness and the vehicle left the carriageway.

He added: "Passengers have been conveyed to hotels in Southampton where they will meet a cruise ship (on Monday). The carriageway is likely to be closed for several hours whilst recovery work is taking place."

The coach was left lying on its side in bracken after veering off the motorway.

The motorway was closed to allow the injured to be taken to hospital and to enable police to recover the overturned vehicle.

One lane of the southbound carriageway has since reopened but drivers were being advised to avoid the area because of long tailbacks. The motorway was not expected to reopen fully until the early hours.


From Belfast Telegraph