Woman killed in bus crash on Tower Bridge

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The Independent Online

A woman was killed and 19 people were injured today after a double-decker bus crashed into a tree close to one of the UK's most-recognised landmarks.

The accident happened just south of Tower Bridge in central London as the route 188 bus travelled on a route between Russell Square and North Greenwich station.

The woman, believed to be a pedestrian, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at the junction of Tower Bridge Road and Tanner Street.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "One woman has died. She has yet to be identified and next of kin informed. She is believed to have been a passer-by and not a passenger on the bus.

The spokesman said the majority of those hurt sustained minor injuries, with two being taken to hospital.

Trevor Harris, web designer at Action Plus Photographic Sports Agency, which is a short distance from the scene, said some of the bus windows were smashed in the crash.

He went on: "I was just coming in to work and I saw all the police. It looked like there were some windows smashed and branches on the road."

Emlyn Exon, of Anderson Travel coach hire in Tower Bridge Road, said the top deck of the bus had "pretty much caved in" at the front.

He went on: "I was not in the office at the time, I was down the road and I saw the aftermath. There were just shedloads of police and the fire brigade and a couple of ambulances."

Tower Bridge Road was closed and bus routes 1, 42 and 188 were diverted. The 188 is operated by the Travel London company, which runs more than 30 bus services in the capital.

The 188's other stops include Deptford and Canada Water and Holborn station. The 188's depot is at Walworth in south London.

A spokeswoman for transport company National Express, which is Travel London's parent company, said: "We have people on the scene who are working with the police to try to establish why this accident happened."

She added that the 188 route is a regular service with buses running every six to eight minutes.