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Person in hospital after school bus crashes, hangs over bridge in central Auckland & More Breaking News

 

A person has been taken to hospital after a bus carrying high school students crashed on Newton Rd in Ponsonby, leaving the front end hanging off a bridge.

The bus, carrying a group of high school students, had gone across the footpath and partly through a railing on Friday morning.

The driver and teens onboard had since been taken off and the bus was back on the bridge again just after 10am.

Multiple emergency service vehicles, including Fire and Emergency and St John Ambulance, were at the scene.

RICKY WILSON/STUFF

A bus has crashed on Auckland’s Newton Rd motorway overbridge, with 24 people onboard assessed and treated for minor injuries.

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Police said they were called to the incident about 8.40am. They said there were no injuries.

Fire and Emergency crews are pulling the bus back to safety.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

Fire and Emergency crews are pulling the bus back to safety.

However, St John Ambulance said a total of 24 patients were assessed and treated for minor injuries.

One patient was taken to Auckland City Hospital as a result of the crash.

Lanes heading to Ponsonby were blocked, but one lane going towards Newmarket remained open.

An Auckland Transport notification said 12 difference bus routes had been diverted as a result of the crash.

The front end of the bus had gone across the footpath and through a railing.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The front end of the bus had gone across the footpath and through a railing.

“Motorists should expect delays and are advised to avoid the area if possible,” a police statement said.

A passerby who arrived soon after believed the greasy road caused the bus to lose traction and crash into the nearby railing.

Immediately following the crash, the front end of the bus had gone into some bushes.

Traffic was being diverted down Piwakawaka St.

The bus was carrying a group of students, but the driver and teens on board had since been taken off.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The bus was carrying a group of students, but the driver and teens on board had since been taken off.

The police Eagle helicopter could be seen flying overhead.

Meanwhile, all the students involved had been moved to a second bus.

Holly Gillan was on her way back from the gym when she heard a loud noise behind her that sounded like an explosion.

Gillan said she turned around to see a bus teetering on the edge of the bridge 15m behind her.

“It looks like the driver lost control and hit the railing.”

She said the students were helped off the bus and none appeared injured, “just shaken up”.

The bus was anchored to a fire truck with a steel cable and Fire and Emergency NZ was bringing in heavy haulage.

Firefighters were cutting the railing with an angle grinder.

Twisted and bent metal railings could be seen where the bus had gone through the bridge’s barriers.

A spokesperson for Coachways, the bus company, said: “We’re still assessing and finding out more information.”

A Coachways bus driver who was coming in the opposite direction back to the bus yard across the Newton Rd bridge said he saw the bus hit the side of the bridge.

He said he stopped and helped get the girls, who he said were St Mary’s College students, off the bus.

They came out through the bus’s back door.

The driver said a few of the students were “crying in shock” once they were out.

“It’s pretty steep, by the time I got to the lights it had stopped,” he said.

“I was just happy it wasn’t going down the bank.”

The driver said he’d be taking the students on the remainder of their route once police had given him permission.

His bus, with the girls on board, had left the scene by 9.40am.

Police speak to people at the scene after a bus crashed on a bridge.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

Police speak to people at the scene after a bus crashed on a bridge.

Sarah Dwan, the principal of St Mary’s College, said all students on board were “safe and well”.

“We are incredibly proud of how they have reacted and responded,” she said.

“We are grateful for the response of the emergency services and bus company.”

Dwan said a staff member, who was also on their way to school, happened to be behind the bus when it crashed. They were able to stop and provide support to the students.

Police said they would be making inquiries. No charges had been laid at this stage.

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