France school bus crash kills one, leaves five seriously injured

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Map of the Autoroute involved. The bus crashed roughly halfway along.

A bus crashed into a ditch in northern France, killing one man and leaving at least four people seriously injured, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed.

The crash occurred on the A26 autoroute, between Calais and Troyes, near Reims, at approximately 0300 CET (0200 UTC) this morning. The vehicle was carrying 29 school children and twenty or 21 adults, with the man killed being 59 years old. The 22 minorly injured and the four or five seriously injured are currently receiving hospital treatment.

The pupils, who attend Alvechurch Church of England Middle School in Worcestershire, England, were returning to the UK from a trip to Aosta Valley, a well-known skiing area in Italy. Those not injured have been transported to a local sports complex where the French Red Cross is providing psychological assistance.

Police tests have established that the driver was not drunk and has been tested negative for drugs. It is possible that he might have fallen asleep while driving. Details of how exactly the crash occurred are unclear presently. According to BBC News reporter Hugh Schofield, the vehicle "veered into the ditch at the side of the road and it was a very serious accident." Video from the scene showed the coach, which was owned by an English company, had rolled onto its side.

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To find out more about those involved in this crash, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: 0207 008 1500


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