Passengers injured after bus overturns

Five people were seriously injured when a coach overturned near Norwich Airport during a Christmas bus tour.

The accident happened on the A140 near Horsford at about 3.40pm today.



Firefighters were called to the scene to free some of those injured. Many of the passengers are believed to be elderly.



A Norfolk County Council spokesman, who was at the scene, said it was a Galloway single-decker coach.



He said: "A major incident has been declared.



"Those injured have been taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.



"Those who appeared uninjured were taken to the local village hall to be checked over there."



An East of England Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "Ten patients have been taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, five in a serious but not critical condition and the other five with minor injuries.



"We are also checking over a number of other patients at the local village hall."



Five ambulances and three rapid response vehicles were sent to the scene, she added.



A spokesman for the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK said the single-decker coach had been travelling from Wroxham to Norwich as part of a Christmas tour around Norfolk which had been due to finish on December 27.



A Norfolk Police spokesman said: "Emergency services are at the scene of a single vehicle serious road traffic collision that occurred this afternoon at Horsham St Faith.



"The collision involved a single-decker coach at 3.40pm on the A140 Cromer Road close to Harts Hill Farm. The road is currently closed with diversions in place.



"Police, fire and ambulance are at the scene. Approximately 49 people were on board. All on board have been released from the vehicle with emergency services treating the casualties.



"At this time it is believed the majority of occupants were walking wounded. There are believed to be around 15 people with minor injuries and five people with serious injuries.



"Casualties are being taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment and Horsham St Faith social club is being opened as a location to provide support for the non-injured passengers.



"An investigation into the cause is under way and police are appealing for witnesses to call 0845 456 4567."





One passenger said the coach was carrying pensioners who had been on a 'Christmas tour' of Norfolk.



They said: "We had been to Holt and were heading towards Norwich. Me and my husband dozed off and the next thing we knew the coach was on its side."



An East of England Ambulance Service spokeswoman later said out of the 49 patients, 17 were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. She added: "None of the patients were critically injured with most of the injuries being bruises, bumps and aches.



"A small number of patients had minor head injuries and potential fractures."



Inspector David Ball of Norfolk Police told BBC News: "For reasons which we are not totally certain of yet it has gone off to its near side, mounted the high rise and has flipped over on its side.



"Police officers turned up first I understand, which were soon followed by the fire brigade and ambulance.



"The people were trapped in the seats, thankfully they had seat belts on."



He added: "If nobody was wearing seat belts it would have gone down on its side, they'd have landed on top of each other, it would have been a lot worse than it would appear to be. Thankfully we have had no fatalities involved in this."



"The road conditions were fine, I don't think road conditions have played any kind of part in this.



"We are early stages in terms of the investigation, we've spoken to the driver and clearly we will be asking him a little bit more about what's actually happened. We can't account at present for why the vehicle has gone on to its near side."



One passenger said the coach was carrying pensioners who had been on a 'Christmas tour' of Norfolk.



They said: "We had been to Holt and were heading towards Norwich. Me and my husband dozed off and the next thing we knew the coach was on its side."



An East of England Ambulance Service spokeswoman later said out of the 49 patients, 17 were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. She added: "None of the patients were critically injured with most of the injuries being bruises, bumps and aches.



"A small number of patients had minor head injuries and potential fractures."

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