Three die as bus hits bridge

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TWO WOMEN and a girl guide were killed after the roof was ripped off their double-decker bus when it crashed into a railway bridge in Scotland last night.

Ten children with head injuries were among 20 people hurt in the accident, which happened as a party of girl guides returned to Glasgow following a day trip to a holiday camp in Ayr.

A rescue operation involving fleets of fire and ambulance service vehicles swung into action after the crash. Fire crews had to use cutting equipment to release some of the injured.

The bus driver was among the victims taken to four hospitals in the city. Five of the casualties were seriously hurt.

The accident happened at about 6.30pm yesterday when the bus hit the bridge in West Street. The youngsters were from the St Andrews Church of Scotland girl guides and were returning to their church in Drumchapel after a day out at a Butlins camp.

Local ministers comforted anguished parents as they waited for news of the crash and police officers were on hand to provide counselling. There were 32 people on board the bus. Inquiries centred on why the 13ft 6in double-decker had been driven beneath the bridge where the clearance is 10ft 6in. The bridge has been the scene of several accidents.

In another bus accident, one person died and 42 were injured when a coach carrying a Royal Marine band left the road and plunged down an embankment near Clevedon in Avon last night.

Five people were trapped in the wreckage of the double-decker vehicle, and seven of the injured were reported to be in a serious condition.

Most of the casualties were flown to Weston General hospital by air ambulance. A police helicopter took two people to Frenchay hospital in Bristol.

The bandsman who died was named as Barry Jon Holland, 27, from Cornwall, a married man with two children.