Major incident declared as double-decker overturns in crash with motorbike in icy conditions in Somerset

Major incident declared as double-decker overturns in crash with motorbike in icy conditions in Somerset

Updated: 2 months, 9 days, 5 hours, 51 minutes, 53 seconds ago


major incident has been declared after a bus carrying 70 people overturned in icy conditions in Somerset.

The bus - a shuttle carrying workers to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station - flipped onto its side in the crash, which also involved a motorcycle, early on Tuesday.

A total of 70 people were on board when the bus “rolled over” on the A39 Quantock Road near the town of Bridgwater, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service confirmed.

West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger reportedly told local media on Tuesday that three people suffered “significant injuries” in the crash.

“Obviously it was a terrifying experience for everyone on that bus and my thoughts are with them and their families,” he told West Somerset Free Press, adding: “We absolutely most get to the bottom of why this crash occurred”.

Police have not yet confirmed how many people were hurt, or the extent of any injuries suffered.

The bus was a shuttle operated by Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, used to transport staff to and from the site, which is currently under construction in Somerset.

A spokesperson for the power station could not comment on how many workers were on board, or whether any had been injured.

“A bus carrying members of the Hinkley Point C workforce has been involved in a traffic incident on the A39 in Bridgwater,” they said. “Emergency services are on the scene and travel to and from the site has been suspended.”

Video footage circulated on social media appeared to show people clambering out of the overturned vehicle in the dark, early on Tuesday morning.

One person could be heard screaming, while people appeared to be banging on the rear of the bus in an apparent attempt to help free people and belongings.

Emergency services were called at around 6am on Tuesday, and closures remained in place at the junction of Sandford Hill and Quantock Road around 10.45am.

Avon and Somerset Police said: “We were called at around 6am today to the A39 Quantock Road following a road-related incident involving a double-decker bus and a motorcyclist.

“Closures are in place at the junction of Sandford Hill and Quantock Road.

“A significant number of police, fire and ambulance units are on the scene and a major incident has been declared.”

It comes as Avon and Somerset Police early on Tuesday morning advised people to only travel if “absolutely essential”, after freezing weather conditions resulted in dozens of road accidents, with the force receiving more than 100 reports of road-related incident in just five hours.

Somerset residents have expressed their shock over the incident on Twitter.

Hannah Alderson wrote: “Oh my heart just sinks hearing about the bus crash near Cannington. Praying for the passengers and driver, the wonderful community in Bridgwater and Cannington, the emergency services and all responding to this emergency.”

A total of 53 collisions were reported to local police between 6pm and 11pm on Monday evening, with the majority being a result of the freezing weather causing dangerous driving conditions.

The force said seven of the incidents were reported to have resulted in injuries but they were not thought to be serious. A further 67 calls were received for other road-related incidents.

Superintendent Mark Runacres said: “We are advising the public to only travel where absolutely essential due to the treacherous driving conditions.

“If travel is necessary, we ask the public to take extreme caution and allow additional time to travel.

“We have seen a significantly higher number of road-related collisions and incidents in the past 12 hours, which has increased the demand on police resources.

“We are working with local authorities and National Highways to ensure roads are properly gritted ahead of the rush hour traffic to improve driving conditions.”