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UPDATE: 18 Holmwood students hospitalised after bus spill

Friday, January 18, 2013 | 2:02 PM    

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Mandeville, Manchester — Edward Hector, vice principal of the Holmwood Technical High School says 18 students from his school had to be rushed to hospital following this morning’s bus spill on the Pen Hill main road in Manchester.

Sixteen were taken to the Mandeville Regional Hospital and two to the Percy Junor Hospital at Spalding on the border of northeast Manchester and northwest Clarendon.

“There are a few broken bones and some with bumps on the head as you would expect because the bus turned over,” Hector said.

“I have been hearing that one person may be a bit more serious but I have to find out more,” he added.

Unconfirmed reports say the driver of the bus was also hospitalised.

Reports are that the driver lost control of the mini bus, which overturned in a ditch at the foot of the Pen Hill main road close to the mothballed Krikvine bauxite/alumina plant on or around 8:00 am. The vehicle was on its way from Mandeville to Christiana in northern Manchester where Holmwood is located.

The school has been hit hard by such accidents in recent years. In April 2011 a crash at Bryce Hill in northern Manchester left four people including three Holmwood girls dead, and in February of last year another bus accident on the Pen Hill road left students from several schools including Holmwood injured.

Such accidents — usually blamed on speeding and careless driving — have triggered repeated calls for a dedicated bus service for rural schools. However the government has said that while such a service is needed, it cannot afford another loss-making entity.

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