Melbourne bus crash: School children suffer traumatic injuries

By Tiffanie Turnbull updated at 0720 EAT Time


A group of primary school children has suffered traumatic injuries after a “horrific” bus crash in Melbourne, Australia.

The bus was carrying 45 students when police say it was hit by a truck from behind and rolled on Tuesday afternoon.

Nine children – aged 5 to 11 years old – were rushed to hospital, many for emergency surgery.

Police say they expect to charge the truck driver with dangerous driving causing serious injury.

Australia has a below-average road safety record compared to other advanced economies. It ranks 20th of out of 36 OECD countries for road fatalities.

Police said the bus had only just left Exford Primary School – on the western fringes of Melbourne – when the collision occurred.

Warning: This article contains distressing details

Children were trapped inside the bus before witnesses and emergency responders freed them from the wreckage and rushed several to hospital.

Surgeons worked into the early hours of the morning to treat those seriously hurt, Royal Children’s Hospital chief executive officer Bernadette McDonald told media on Wednesday.

Their injuries included crushed limbs – forcing amputations – as well as head injuries, spinal injuries and serious cuts. 

Seven children remain at the hospital in serious conditions, including one in intensive care.

“We have some very traumatised families and children in our hospital at the moment,” Ms McDonald said.

The 49-year-old male bus driver suffered minor injuries.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his “heart goes out” to the families involved in the “horrific” crash.

“The fact that it involves school students just breaks your heart,” he said.

The Major Collision Investigation Unit are investigating the incident, with Det Snr Sgt Paul Lineham telling 3AW radio he expects the bus driver will be charged on Wednesday.

“As a parent of a primary school-aged child myself, I can only imagine the absolute paralysing fear that those parents had,” he said.

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