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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Investigo: management accountant

£250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...

Recruitment Genius: ORM / Online Reputational Consultant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ORM Consultant is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of educat...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore