A driver on ‘his first day,’ ripped the roof off a double-decker school bus by smashing into a railway bridge – despite pupils’ warning shouts before the crash that has left three children in hospital with serious injuries and 13 more needing treatment.
Around 60 pupils were on board the bus, head towards Henry Beaufort School, in Winchester, when its roof collided with a bridge just after 8am.
A total of 13 children were treated at the scene of the crash in Wellhouse Lane, according to Hampshire Police, while three more were rushed to hospital with serious, but non life-threatening, injuries
A local businessman based along the road said he had heard the driver was ‘very new to the job’ and 60 pupils were on board at the time.
Pupils on the school bus which crashed into a railway bridge had shouted at the ‘novice’ driver to tell him he was not taking the right route, it has been claimed.
The man, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘The bridge is fairly low. What people at the scene were saying is that this bus driver was a complete novice.
Three children are in hospital with serious injuries and 13 more were treated at the scene after a double-decker bus’ roof hit a bridge in Winchester this morning
The double-decker bus’ roof was ripped off as it passed underneath a bridge in Winchester while carrying secondary school pupils
‘I actually think it was his first day – that is what everyone down here is saying. There were a lot of people gathered around and it seems to be he was very new to the job.
‘The children were apparently telling the driver it wasn’t their usual route and kept shouting at him telling him the bridge was too low and he wouldn’t be able to get through.
‘They were there saying, ‘go back, go back’.
‘I know that some of the children were injured and taken, and I believe about half a dozen or so more were injured in some form or another.
‘There were at least 60 people on board at the time.’
One parent told media they also thought the bus driver was new to the route.
Paramedics and police officers remain at the scene of the crash in Wellhouse Lane, Winchester
A spokeswoman at Henry Beaufort School said: ‘Senior members of staff have been on the site this morning. They are there to support people.
‘It’s a sad incident.’
Police say it caused ‘significant damage’ to the top of the bus.
A Hampshire Police spokesman said: ‘We were called at 8.10am today to reports of a serious collision on Wellhouse Lane, Winchester, after a school bus collided with a railway bridge causing significant damage to the top of the bus.
‘Three students with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, have been taken to hospital.
‘A further 13 students with minor injuries have been dealt with at the scene.
‘All the students involved are aged between 11 and 16.
Around 60 pupils, aged between 11 and 16, were on board the double-decker bus this morning, before it crashed in Wellhouse Lane (above)
All of the pupils on board the bus were on their way to Henry Beaufort School in Winchester, before it crashed at around 8am
‘A road closure is in place on Well House Lane from the junction with Andover Road North to School Lane to enable us to deal with this incident. We thank you for your patience.
‘We are working in cooperation with the school and Hampshire County Council children’s services to provide support to the students and their parents.’
South Central Ambulance Service confirmed it had attended the scene along with Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and Network Rail
A Network Rail spokesperson said: ‘We were called to Wellhouse Lane in Winchester this morning along with the police and fire service, after reports that a bus had struck a railway bridge.
‘Following an inspection, there was no visible damage to the structure and train services were able to run as normal.’
The average house price in Headbourne Worthy is reported to be £730,000.
Henry Beaufort School, which us rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, has 997 pupils.