Woman dies, 19 injured in UK hen party bus crash

Friday 26 April 2013 17.38
The accident left six people seriously injured
The accident left six people seriously injured

One woman has died after a minibus carrying women to a hen party was involved in a crash with a lorry, police in England said today.

The minibus was on its way to Liverpool when it was involved in the collision at junction 32 of the westbound carriageway of the M62 near Pontefract at about 11.30am.

The accident left 19 people injured, six seriously.

The driver of the lorry, believed to be a local man, has been arrested in connection with the incident, West Yorkshire Police said.

Speaking at the scene, Chief Inspector Mark Bownass, head of West Yorkshire Police's roads policing unit, said emergency services were called to a report of a collision between a large goods vehicle and a minibus from South Elmsall, near Pontefract.

"We believe the minibus at this time was heading to a hen party in Liverpool," he said.

"Sadly within this accident there has been one fatality."

He said one woman had died and other casualties had been taken to numerous local hospitals.

Chief Inspector Bownass said there had been disruption to the motorway, but it will hopefully be reopened soon.

He appealed for any witnesses to contact police on 101, as well as any family members who may have any concerns.

Six air ambulances were called to the scene but four were actually used by emergency crews who came to treat casualties.

Dr David Macklin from Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: "The crews as you can imagine faced a very difficult scene with multiple seriously injured people.

"They are trained to respond to those sorts of incidents, they reacted in a manner in which I would expect them to."

He praised the "excellent and professional response" of ambulance crews. Members of the public also helped to give first aid.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said that firefighters had remarked that the crash was "the worst they had seen in a number of years".

"The crews that arrived described to me a very difficult scene, some of them saying it was the worst they'd seen in a number of years and some very experienced fire officers have been attending this scene.

"However, they very quickly got to work and brought in a range of equipment including cutting and lifting equipment to effect as quick a rescue as we could of those casualties who were still in the vehicle."

Police confirmed an off-duty officer was the first person to report the accident and had stayed at the scene to help.