Major incident declared at Merseyside hospitals after M53 school bus crash

A major incident has been declared by two hospitals in Merseyside after a school bus flipped over in a horror crash on the M53 motorway on Friday morning.

A woman has been taken to hospital with “major trauma-related injuries” while almost 50 others are being assessed at the scene of the crash near junction 5 of the motorway in Merseyside.

It happened shortly after 8am and triggered a huge response from emergency services, including North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) which “dispatched a large number of resources”.


Due to high pressure, both Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral have declared a “major incident”. It comes after NWAS also declared the same state of emergency.

A spokesperson for Alder Hey said: “Following an incident on the M53, we have called a major incident. Our emergency department is currently extremely busy and we would also ask parents to only bring their children to the department if it is urgent.”

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A spokesperson for Wirral University Teaching Hospital, which runs Arrowe Park Hospital, said: “The trust is dealing with an incident declared by the emergency services, following a road traffic collision on the M53 this morning.

“We have clear plans in place to deal with these types of emergency situations and our services are ready to receive any casualties. The trust has declared a major incident and the major incident team has been stood up to manage the situation.”

Dr Nikki Stevenson, medical director at the trust, added: “Our thoughts are with those affected by this event and we are ready to provide treatment and support to any casualties and relatives arriving at Arrowe Park Hospital.”

Merseyside Police was called to reports a bus had struck a reservation at just after 8am. Video and pictures quickly emerged on social media of an overturned bus on the highway with children stood next to it.

Shocked witnesses said some of the children escaped through the back window of the vehicle, which could be seen damaged and completely on its side in the road.

NWAS first declared a “major incident” after arriving at the crash at 8.30am. A spokesperson said: “The trust dispatched a large number of resources to the scene, including ambulances, advanced paramedics, our Hazardous Area Response Team and a HEMS doctor.

The bus hit a reservation before overturning on the M53 (PA)
The bus hit a reservation before overturning on the M53 (PA)

“So far, one female patient has been taken to the hospital, suffering major trauma-related injuries,” they added.

“There are also nearly 50 other patients being assessed at the scene. We are working closely with our incident partners to convey people away from the scene as quickly as possible.”

Calday Grange Grammar School confirmed to The Independent the overturned coach was a school bus carrying its students.

A spokesperson said: “A situation involving one of our school buses on the highway earlier today has come to our attention. If you need to talk or seek guidance, please reach out to our teaching and pastoral teams.”

The crash occurred just after junction 5 on the M53 towards Liverpool. The motorway is currently closed between Junction 5 Hooton and Junction 4 Clatterbridge following the serious incident.

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