An elderly woman and a young boy have been killed after a double decker bus ploughed into a Supermarket front in Coventry city centre.
Eyewitnesses described how the bus careered off of the road and mounted the pavement in Trinity Street in the busy centre of the city, before hitting several stationary cars and a lamppost and finally a local Sainsburys store at around 18:00 Saturday evening. There was also a cash point situated at the point of impact, next to the entrance to the supermarket.
Emergency services were quick to respond, and arrived on the scene shortly afterwards. The crash has claimed the lives of an eight year old boy from Leamington, who was a passenger on the top deck, and a woman thought to be in her seventies from Nuneaton, who was a pedestrian. Both died at the scene. Specially trained officers from the West Midlands police force have been dispatched to help their families come to terms with the deaths.
A nine year old girl, also a passenger on the top deck, has been taken to Birmingham Children’s Hopsital where she remains seriously ill. An ambulance spokesman confirmed that the girl “had injuries to her face, head and right leg and suspected chest, abdominal and pelvic injuries”, and “she had been given blood, pain relief and was anaesthetised and her airway maintained” before being taken to hospital.
Five others were injured, including the bus driver, a male in his fifties who suffered neck and shoulder injuries, and they were taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire to receive treatment. Another person was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Anand Basi, a witness on the scene, said that the passengers on the lower deck were able to escape through the emergency exit, but “people on the top deck seemed to be trapped”. Another witness claimed that everyone was screaming, and two kids were trapped at the top of the bus. West Midlands fire service confirmed that they had used special cutting equipment to free passengers from the top deck of the vehicle.
The causes of the crash are as yet unclear. A Sainsburys spokeswoman confirmed that the store was open at the time of the crash, and that no staff members had been injured, but was unable to say if any customers had been involved in the incident.
The site of the crash was cordoned off, and roads in the area were closed, whilst buses were not allowed into the city centre. Police Supt Paul Keasey said that they wished to carry out a swift investigation, in order to allow roads to be reopened, and confirmed that they had not yet arrested anyone in conjunction with the incident.