A school bus with up to 52 children on board has overturned in Co Cork.
Update at 2pm: James O’Donoghue, principal in Bishop Murphy Memorial School in Fermoy, was travelling on the road when a schoolbus carrying 52 children hit a tree and overturned a short distance behind. “It was a huge fright,” he said.
“I did not know what was going on at first as I could not see the bus as I was in a line of traffic but it was an awful fright altogether. It was passers-by who told me what had happened.
“There was an acute bend on the road. Thankfully it was not any worse.”
No pupils from Bishop Murphy were on board.
Gardaí and school principals are also liaising to record the exact numbers of pupils from the respective schools who were on board at the time.
Update at 12.50pm:
One pupil is understood to have suffered a broken leg.
It is understood the coach hit a small tree as it slid into the field and overturned.
The emergency exit door at the rear of the vehicle was blocked and the driver smashed the front window to allow the pupils to escape.
And the scene from the other side. Reports that the schoolkids on board escaped through the windshield. pic.twitter.com/ndSd7sxW5n— Joe Leogue (@JoeLeogue) September 14, 2015
Update at 12.50pm:
Three schools in the area have issued a statement on the incident.
The statement from Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Loetto Secondary School & St. Colman's College, Fermoy said: "A bus carrying 50 secondary school students overturned this morning on the Ballyhooly to Fermoy road, Cork. Students from Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Loetto Secondary School & St. Colman's College were on the bus.
There were no fatalities following the incident, four students were taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital, two for precautionary reasons and two for minor injuries."
Christy Healy, Principal of Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy said: "The bus overturned on the Ballyhooly to Fermoy road this morning at about 8.20am. Staff and teachers from all three schools assisted at the scene. We are very lucky they nobody was seriously injured.
"Four students were brought by ambulance from the scene to Cork University Hospital where they are being treated. We immediately established an emergency response centre in our PE hall in Coláiste an Chraoibhín. Emergency counselling services have been made available to the students involved. All students on the bus were treated for shock and have been taken home by their parents.
Emergency services @ the scene of the overturned bus on the back road from Ballyhooly to Fermoy. No serious injuries pic.twitter.com/Ul3vtXVuJG— Joe Leogue (@JoeLeogue) September 14, 2015
"On behalf of the three schools I would like to thank the rapid response of An Garda Siochana, the Ambulance Service and Fire Brigade, who were all at the scene within minutes.
"An Garda Siochana and the Road Safety Authority have both launched separate investigations into the crash, and we await the outcome of both investigations," he added.
Update at 11.50am.
Bus Éireann have a released a statement in relation to this morning’s crash. They have confirmed there is an investigation underway into the crash, which involved a sub-contracted vehicle.
Scene of school bus crash near Fermoy. Number of minor injuries pic.twitter.com/ECcbn0ywUo— Jonathan Healy (@jonathanhealy) September 14, 2015
“Bus Éireann can confirm a vehicle sub-contracted for its school transport services - travelling on the road from Pound Cross, Rathcormac to Ballyhooly - was involved in an accident at 8.20am this morning, which resulted in the bus leaving the road. The bus is operated by Glenferry Coaches and was on route to several post primary schools in Fermoy. The emergency services were immediately contacted and attended the scene of the accident.
“The 53 seater bus had 52 students on board, when the incident occurred - following adverse weather conditions this weekend. The driver and all school pupils were able to make their way off the bus with the assistance of the emergency services. Three pupils – who are understood to have minor injuries – were taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment.
“The cause of the accident has not yet been established, but is currently under investigation by Bus Éireann and the relevant authorities.
“The company would like thank the emergency services and the Gardaí Síochána for their swift response in dealing with the incident.”
Two schoolchildren were reported to be trapped after the bus overturned on the Ballyhooley to Fermoy road shortly after 8am this morning.
However, reports now say that everybody has been safely removed from the bus.
Gardaí at the scene in Co. Cork. Pic: Dan Linehan.
There were 52 pupils on board and only minor injuries have been reported, a Garda spokesman said.
One student has been taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment while the rest have been taken to a nearby school to be reunited with their parents and receive treatment for bruising and shock.
The bus was taking students to secondary schools in Fermoy town when the accident occurred.
Units of Fermoy and Mitchelstown fire brigade went to the scene this morning to rescue three trapped students from the bus.
Vehicle was 99 registered school bus, hired by Bus Eireann, to bring students to secondary schools in Fermoy pic.twitter.com/c4PUoobEuW— Jonathan Healy (@jonathanhealy) September 14, 2015
The bus remains at the scene. The cause of the accident is not yet known and Gardaí have launched an investigation.
Weather conditions in the area were poor.
Eileen Gowan, a mother from Ballyhooley, had two children on the bus.
She said: "My other daughter came in and told me that there had been an accident.
"My second child has gone into CUH, she has bruising to her lip and her neck and I am just taking my other little boy home now.
"He is okay, but he is shaken."