Witness tells of bus crash horror

A BRAMFORD father-of-three has today spoken of the moment he raced inside a smashed bus to rescue screaming passengers.

A BRAMFORD father-of-three has today spoken of the moment he raced inside a smashed bus to rescue screaming passengers.

Gary Mills, 45, of Ship Lane, was relaxing in his home just yards from the railway bridge when he heard a loud noise.

He said: “I heard a big crash and bang and I knew something had hit the bridge. I ran outside and I could hear a couple of young girls screaming.

“I said to the driver lets get everybody off. So I guided them off the bus.

“One girl had hit her head on a light fitting and the other had cuts on her arm. They were sitting at the front of the bus and they were naturally very shaken.”

The taxi driver said his wife called the emergency services as he checked the 14ft high Ipswich-bound bus for more injured people.

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He said: “I went upstairs to check no one else was there. There were about a dozen or 15 passengers.”

Paramedics, police and fire engines were at the scene within minutes, Mr Mills said.

He added: “There were about six police cars and three fire engines. I think one of the girls was taken to hospital.”

Mr Mills said the 13ft high bridge is regularly hit by lorries and buses.

He said: “It happens about twice a year. Only yesterday there was a lorry backing up the lane because it couldn't get through.”

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said there were insufficient signs warning drivers of the bridge.

He said: “It isn't signposted well enough. A car transporter hit the bridge about three years ago. It has happened lots of times.”

The smash happened at about 1pm. Graphic artist James Kindred arrived on the scene just moments after the drama unfolded.

He said: “The bus had been evacuated. There was an elderly couple sitting on the verge who looked shaken up and a couple of people with young children. It was a shocking sight.”

BUS company First Eastern Counties today apologised to passengers involved in the smash.

Roger Haywood, spokesman for Norwich-based First Eastern Counties, said a disciplinary inquiry would now take place.

He added: “We are shocked at this incident. Fortunately accidents like this are extremely rare. Our driver has clearly made a mistake and he will now be suspended.

“We offer our apologies to the passengers who must have been startled by this incident. It could have been much more serious.”

Weblink:

www.firstgroup.com

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