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Up to eight seriously injured after double-decker bus crash in Devon

A large number of police, fire and ambulance service vehicles, including helicopters, attended the scene.

Emergency personnel attending the incident on the A385 Totnes Road (Sgt Olly Taylor/Twitter/PA)
Emergency personnel attending the incident on the A385 Totnes Road (Sgt Olly Taylor/Twitter/PA)

By Tom Pilgrim, PA

Up to eight people are believed to have been seriously injured after a double-decker bus overturned in a crash in Devon, police have said.

Emergency services declared a “major incident” after the collision on the A385 Totnes Road, between Totnes and Paignton, at around 11am on Saturday.

A large number of police, fire and ambulance service vehicles, including helicopters, attended the scene where the bus had fallen on its side in a field.

Devon and Cornwall police initially said one person was thought to have been seriously injured, with more than a dozen receiving minor injuries.

At 5.30pm, the force said in an updated statement that 37 people had sustained injuries, of which eight are described as having potentially serious injuries.

Safety is our absolute priority and we will be assisting the investigation into the circumstances involved in the incident Stagecoach South West

Police said casualties were sent for treatment at hospitals across the region, with some having since been discharged.

An additional 10 were assessed and supported by police and medics at Paignton Library, but did not require further treatment.

Devon and Cornwall police previously said: “All casualties have left the location however the road will remain closed for [the] foreseeable future as investigative work continues at the scene.

“Officers from the serious collisions investigation unit remain at the scene and their enquiries continue.

“We can confirm that the driver of the bus has not been arrested, but he is helping police with our investigations into this incident.”

The major incident was stood down on Saturday evening after NHS staff, including surgeons, doctors, GPs, nurses, chaplains and support workers, reported for duty while on days off.

Jane Viner, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust, said: “Our thoughts are with all those who were affected by the coach crash in South Devon this morning. The emergency services and hospitals across Devon responded very quickly and have been incredibly professional and compassionate in looking after all the casualties.

“I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in responding to it.”

Photos earlier shared by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service area manager Gerald Taylor showed the Stagecoach Gold double-decker bus overturned on its side in a field.

Liberal Democrat MP for Totnes, Sarah Wollaston, said: “Dreadful news, thank you to all our emergency services responding in difficult conditions.”

A crash witness told the DevonLive news website: “Very bad accident outside Totnes.

“There are many people with very severe injuries. Maybe 20 with some trapped.

“I was passing and stopped to help but a lot of people too injured to move.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach South West said: “We can confirm one of our buses has been involved in an incident on the A385 between Paignton and Totnes.

“Emergency services are at the scene. Our immediate thoughts are for those involved and we are helping the emergency services in any way that we can.

“Safety is our absolute priority and we will be assisting the investigation into the circumstances involved in the incident.”

The spokesman said the bus had left Torquay at 10.10am, heading towards Plymouth.

Local road closures are in place and drivers have been advised to avoid the area.

PA

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