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Double-Decker Bus Overturns In 'Treacherous' Freezing Conditions

The scene on the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater after a double-decker bus overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle.
The scene on the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater after a double-decker bus overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle.

The scene on the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater after a double-decker bus overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle.

People were warned only to travel if “absolutely essential” after a double-decker bus overturned in “treacherous” freezing conditions in the south west of England.

Avon and Somerset Police had declared a major incident after the crash on the A39 Quantock Road, in Bridgwater, which also involved a motorcyclist, as dozens of people were injured.

A “significant number” of police, fire and ambulance units were sent to the scene and some trapped passengers had to be freed from the overturned bus.

The force had had received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in five hours.

Some 53 crashes were reported to police between 6pm and 11pm on Monday, most of them due to the freezing weather causing dangerous driving conditions.

Seven of these incidents were reported to have resulted in injuries, but were not thought to be serious, police said.

Police at the scene on the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater as a double-decker bus is righted by a recovery lorries after it overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle.
Police at the scene on the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater as a double-decker bus is righted by a recovery lorries after it overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle.

Police at the scene on the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater as a double-decker bus is righted by a recovery lorries after it overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle.

The bus was taking 70 workers to Hinkley Point C power station when it overturned.

Inspector Rebecca Wells-Cole, of Avon and Somerset Police, confirmed there had been no fatalities and said the major incident had been stood down.

Speaking at the scene, she said: “Fifty-four patients were triaged at the scene and it is too soon to confirm whether any of these patients have life-threatening injuries, however 26 patients are being treated as walking wounded.

“A number of those treated at the scene had been taken to Musgrove Park Hospital, Bridgewater Minor Injury Unit and Southmead Hospital.”

Emergency services were called to the crash at around 6am on Tuesday.

Wells-Cole said: “It may take us some time to recover the bus and to clear the debris from the road.

“I would like to take this opportunity to advise the local residents to only travel where absolutely essential due to the icy road conditions caused by the cold temperatures overnight and the excess water on the road.”

Andrew Cockroft, Hinkley Point C’s senior stake holder manager, said the incident happened in “very difficult, dangerous conditions” but that all its bus drivers would have been “taking precautions”.

He added: “The focus for us and over the days ahead will be the support for the welfare of the individuals who are sadly involved in this incident.

“All of our drivers are highly trained individuals. They would have absolutely have been taking precautions and driving very very carefully as they always do.”

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice covering south west England from Tuesday at 6pm to Wednesday at noon.

It states that “snow showers and icy stretches may cause some disruption, ” adding: “Accumulations of a couple of centimetres are likely at low levels, with some of the higher ground seeing as much as 5-10 cm. In addition, icy stretches are likely to form following showers.”

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