A CRASH between a packed school bus and a car during rush-hour traffic left 18 children in hospital yesterday morning.
Witnesses said they thought a “bomb had gone off” after the vehicles smashed into each other, leaving some pupils injured and in tears.
The incident, near Dunrobin Primary School in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, involved a double-decker bus and a Vauxhall Insignia at about 8.40am.
School pupils travelling to Caldervale Secondary at the time of the incident received “cuts and bruises” but emergency services said there were “no serious injuries”. Witness Margaret Smith, 51, from Airdrie, heard the crash from inside her home and said she thought a bomb had gone off.
She said: “I just heard a really loud noise like a bomb had gone off or something. It was the crash. I’m still very upset by what happened.
“My niece’s 12-year-old daughter was on the bus and I don’t know how she is.
“I ran over to see if I could help and when I got to the crash I saw the driver of the car had his four-year-old daughter with him.
“He was lying on the grass, he looked like he was in shock but his little girl was there talking to him. She seemed to be okay. The school children were all still on the bus. They had to take off the window panels to get out because they couldn’t open up the door.
“They were all crying and calling their parents and soon after parents started coming in from all over the place.
“It was a really horrible experience for them. I felt awful.”
A spokesman for North Lanarkshire confirmed the pupils had been rushed to hospital for treatment.
She said: “Pupils have been taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering cuts and bruises.
“The bus was travelling from Chapelhall to Caldervale Secondary School. The pupils onboard ranged from S1 to S6. Parents have been contacted.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We revived multiple calls at 8.40am reporting of a road traffic accident.
“We mobilised multiple vehicles including our special operations response team and ambulance incident officers.
“Over 20 casualties were checked on scene and 18 casualties were conveyed to local hospitals in the Lanarkshire area. All are not thought to be life-threatening.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland added: “18 people have been taken to hospital following a road crash in Airdrie.
“Around 8.35am, a double decker bus carrying Caldervale High School pupils was involved in a collision with a Vauxhall Insignia car as it travelled to the school.
“As a precaution, 17 pupils were taken to Monklands District General Hospital and Wishaw General Hospital.
“At this time, according to medical staff, their injuries, if any, are thought to be minor.
“The 65-year-old male driver of the bus was not injured nor was the male driver, 30, of the Vauxhall Insignia.
“However, his four-year-old female passenger was taken to Wishaw General hospital as a precaution.”