Dalbeattie school bus crash: Eight pupils injured in France trip but parents informed of incident ‘by text message’

A car crashed into the school’s bus in a road accident in northern France, which was carrying around 50 teenagers 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 29 September 2015 14:04
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An image showing the damage to the school's bus and the car that crashed into it in Normandy
An image showing the damage to the school's bus and the car that crashed into it in Normandy

A school has faced criticism after reportedly telling parents that their children had been involved in a bus crash by text message.

Parents of teenagers involved in a bus crash in which eight children and a teacher have been injured after a car crashed into a British school bus in northern France.

The incident happened on the afternoon of 28 September when a car crashed into the bus carrying 54 teenagers from Dalbeattie High School and six adults near Alencon, in Normandy.

Footage from the scene shows the windscreen of the bus is missing and the front of the car that collided with the vehicle smashed in, with the front tyre completely destroyed.

The injured children were taken to hospital with three staying overnight, though they have since been discharged. The teacher injured in the crash remains in hospital. Local media reports state that the driver of the car has been seriously injured.

According to ITV News, the parents of the children on the trip were informed of the crash by group text message from the school, and were not told in the messages that any children had been taken to hospital.

In a series of messages, the school reportedly wrote: “There has been a bus accident, all pupils safe, we will give an update as soon as we know, Mr Brockett.

“Coach has arrived to take main group to destination. They have been fed and watered.

“All Normandy trip pupils are safe. We will update all parents and carers in the morning with further news.”

A tweet sent from the school's Twitter account at around 2pm on 28 September had shown a view from the bus window with the comment: “View from the Dalbeattie High adventure bus is not too shabby! Had our lunch & 2hrs from the Chateau de Tertre.”

The children were on the first day of their trip when the incident happened, though Dumfries and Galloway Council has decided to bring the children home.

Director of education Colin Grant said “The well-being of all those on the trip is our priority. Following discussions, we have decided to bring the group home.

”The group has been given excellent support locally. We are in regular contact with the group and are continuing to monitor situation.“

This morning, parents received further updates, including the message: “Pupils will be coming home from Normandy. They will be interviewed today by local police. Updates throughout the day.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ”We are closely monitoring the situation in France following a bus crash involving a school trip from Scotland and our thoughts are with those affected and families worried about loved ones.

“The Scottish Government is in direct contact with Dumfries and Galloway education department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and we stand ready to offer support and assistance as appropriate.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are in contact with the authorities in France following a bus crash on September 28.

”We have been in direct contact with the school and offered consular assistance to the British nationals involved.“

The council added that said French police will interview pupils and staff.

Additional reporting by PA

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