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Young Northern Ireland couple among 33 hurt in French coach crash

The coach following the accident in northern France
The coach following the accident in northern France

By Jess Glass

Two people from Northern Ireland have been injured after a bus travelling from Paris to London crashed in northern France leaving 33 people hurt, including five people seriously.

A FlixBus coach tipped over around 11am GMT after the incident on the A1 motorway in northern France on Sunday.

The coach, operated by a regional partner for the German transport firm, was carrying 32 passengers and the driver when it tipped over in the rain and overturned in the Somme region, close to the village of Ablaincourt-Pressoir.

FlixBus have said five people were seriously hurt and other passengers have been treated in local hospitals.

Two 20-year-olds from Northern Ireland, Jamie Kerr and Gemma Given, were treated for head and hand injuries.

Pictures of the incident show the bus on its side on a grass verge close to the road with a broken front windscreen and a large hole in the front right side.

According to local police, 10 British citizens were on board as well as citizens of nine other nations.

Jamie Kerr's father John Kerr told the BBC the trip had been "a pretty traumatic end to a Halloween weekend".

He said the couple were offered a bus back to the UK but decided to make their own way home.

"I feel a bit more could have been done for them," he said.

"They'll learn a lot from all of this, but I'm expecting an emotional response when they get home and it all hits them."

Local police and firefighters attended the scene.

A FlixBus spokesperson said: "FlixBus regrets to confirm that a long-distance bus on its scheduled route from Paris to London from our local partner operating on behalf of FlixBus was involved in an accident. There were 32 passengers and one bus driver on board.

"Injured passengers were taken to local hospitals. Those not requiring medical attention are being taken care of by local authorities.

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