Miraculous escape for 42 school children after their coach overturns on the A10 at Hilgay

PUBLISHED: 12:06 22 July 2014 | UPDATED: 14:21 22 July 2014

The A10 near Hilgay is closed due to a bus crash. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The A10 near Hilgay is closed due to a bus crash. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Forty two children escaped unharmed today after their coach overturned on the A10 at Hilgay.

Police remain at the scene of the incident which happened at around 11am.

The children were among a party from the William Westley Primary School at Whittlesford, near Cambridge, who were on their way to the seaside.

They were travelling in a convoy of three coaches, owned by Saffron Walden-based Richmond’s Coaches, when the accident happened.

A spokesman for the Confederation for Passenger Transport, the trade body for coach operators, said: “We don’t know what happened but one of the coaches left the road and ended up in a ditch.

“The drivers from the following vehicles were able to assist in safely evacuating passengers from the coach and we believe there are no reported injuries.

“A replacement coach was sent to collect passengers and they’re all returning to school.”

He added the coach involved in the crash was a modern vehicle, fitted with lap belts.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council, speaking on behalf of the school, said: “The bus which ended up in the ditch was one of three travelling in convoy so the children simply got on to the other two buses and are being taken back to the school. All of them are unhurt.

“Arrangements will be made to inform parents of the next steps but it’s unclear at the moment whether children will be sent home.”

Police said the single vehicle accident happened just before 11am.

Emergency services including four fire engines attended the scene of the collision, between Dent’s Farm Shop and the Ely Road junction.

A police spokesman said: “It has been confirmed that the coach contained 42 primary school children, five members of staff and one parent helper from the Cambridge area and the driver.

“The children and staff members suffered only minor injuries as a result of the collision and were able to leave the coach immediately.

“A number of them received treatment for shock at the scene but did not require hospital treatment. The driver had to be cut free from the coach and has been taken to hospital for treatment for suspected back injuries.

“The children and staff are shortly going to return to their school. The road continues to be closed in both directions with diversions in place at Steels Drove and Bridge Street.

“The coach will be recovered in due course and we thank the residents of Hilgay for the patience and understanding regarding the large volumes of traffic through their village while this takes place.”

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has information regarding it should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101

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