Seven children are in hospital with serious injuries after a truck struck a school bus carrying 45 students on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the truck hit the rear of the school bus and caused it to overturn at an intersection in Eynesbury, a semi-rural community west of the capital of Victoria. Head injuries, arm amputations and suspected spinal injuries were reported by a hospital official.
A total of 21 children were initially taken by ambulance from the scene for medical care and seven of them remained in hospital on Wednesday.
Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne chief executive Bernadette McDonald said that one of the children was in intensive care, adding that the age of the pupils ranged from five to 11.
“The children have suffered multiple and traumatic injuries including partial and complete amputations of arms, multiple crushing injuries, severe lacerations of the head and body, head injuries, glass shard injuries and three patients are being monitored carefully in terms of spinal injuries,” Ms McDonald said.
She also said the hospital was assisting some extremely traumatised families, adding: “We’re working extremely hard to provide the trauma support and care that they will need not just now but in the coming weeks and months as well”.
Ms McDonald said one child had lost an entire arm but she did not elaborate on how many of the injured had partial amputations.
About six children had been trapped temporarily in the wrecked bus, the Country Fire Authority said. Emergency crews entered the bus through a skylight in its roof, and the smashed-out windshield was used as the main emergency exit.
Paramedics assessed dazed victims who did not appear to need hospitalisation in the grass surrounding the crash site. The bus driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries but was not admitted.
Police crash investigators were questioning the driver of the truck, which had damage to its front. The truck driver escaped injury.
The PA news agency reported that at the time of the crash, the children had been returning to a nearby primary school after competing in an athletics event.
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