Band's tour bus plunges off viaduct near Bath

Nine passengers - including members of the metal band Baroness - had a miracle escape after a coach careered out of control in heavy rain, overturned and plunged 30ft off a viaduct at Brassknocker Hill, in Bath, Somerset.

Amazingly the single decker landed on its wheels on a road below, after going through a set of traffic lights then smashing through a fence, shortly before the viaduct.

The band, consisting of John Baizley, Peter Adams, Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle, had played a gig in Bristol and were en route to Southampton when the accident occurred.

Two members of the band, who grew up together in Virginia, are now recovering in hospital.

The band were on their way to 'Talking Heads' in Southampton for the final performance of their UK tour - before heading off to Belgium and other gigs in Germany.

Witnesses who rushed to the crash scene described carnage on the A36 road between Limpley Stoke and Claverton.

Mechanic Richard Kelly, 24, who works at the nearby Greenfuel Co garage, said: "It looks like the coach has gone through the traffic lights, skidded through a fence and fallen onto the road below.

"It's a sheer drop. The coach managed to land on its wheels - but it was a mess.

"The front of it was completely caved in and there was a lot of damage to the back too.

"There were paramedics on the scene treating people with serious injuries."

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that all passengers had been rescued from the coach an hour-and-a-half after the smash.

A spokesman said: "Nine people were on board including the driver and all have been accounted for and have been taken to hospital.

"Seven people have received minor injuries as a result of this collision and so far two have been taken to the Royal United Hospital."

A spokesman for Avon Fire Service said: "The bus, which is a full size single decker, came off the road and went 30 foot off down.

"There were nine people on board and seven of them got out by themselves.

"The remaining two, one of whom was the driver, were released by our crews using special hydraulic equipment.

"I believe that there was no one in a life-threatening condition."

He said a total of 12 fire engines rushed to the scene, with dozens of fire fighters on board.

A spokeswoman for Great Western Ambulance Service said: "At 11.26am we received a call reporting a coach has left the road at the viaduct on Brassknocker Hill.

"A GWAS officer came across the incident and a further six ambulances, two paramedics in rapid response vehicles, a hazard area response team, staff from the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and response vehicles and two doctors were dispatched.

"There were reported to be nine people on board and our staff assessed all and provided any required care both before and during the route to hospital.

"Seven patients are being taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath and two to Frenchay hospital in Bristol."