Briton dies in school bus crash

 

A coach carrying 29 schoolchildren crashed in northern France today leaving one adult male dead and five others seriously injured, according to the ski company that organised the trip.

The pupils, from Alvechurch School in Worcestershire, were returning to the UK from the Aosta Valley, Italy, when the coach left the motorway and came to rest at the bottom of an embankment.

Twenty-one adults were also involved in the bus crash near the city of Reims in the Champagne-Ardenne region in the early hours of this morning, Interski Snowsport School said.

The ski company said 22 people were also taken to hospital with minor injuries following the accident at 2.30am.

No details of what is thought to have caused the crash were given, but it said the coach had two drivers on board, along with six Interski instructors and 13 adults belonging to the school party.

Those who escaped uninjured are being cared for at a sports complex in the region.

They are receiving attention from the French Red Cross, who are also providing psychological support.

The accident happened on the A26 at Chalons-en-Champagne.

Images of the coach on its side and without its front window were shown on news channels.

The bus was owned by Solus Coaches, which is based in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

A spokeswoman for Alvechurch School said: "There is no further information at this stage.

"We are liaising with the police and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office."

Interski said a rescue vehicle has been dispatched from the UK to bring those fit to travel home.

The company, which is based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, says on its website that it has been organising ski trips for school parties for more than 27 years.

Alvechurch School is a Church of England Middle School in the village of Alvechurch, which caters for pupils aged between nine and 13.

The FCO said the British Ambassador to France, Sir Peter Ricketts, would be visiting the crash site today.

One of its consular teams was also sent to the scene to provide assistance to those affected.

Initial tests on the driver, who received minor injuries, showed he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the BBC.

Local police are said to be investigating whether he might have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The Foreign Office (FCO) said it is providing consular assistance to those affected and has set up a helpline to call on 0207 008 1500.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Apprenticeship Tutor Assessors and Verifiers

£24000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprenticeship Tutor Assessors ...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This organization has been a trusted partner t...

Recruitment Genius: Buyer / Planner

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity has ar...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Manager

£40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity working ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks