A baby was born at the scene of a major coach crash on the M25 this afternoon, police have said.
The coach overturned on the junction 3 slip road of the motorway near Swanley in Kent at around 4pm, with 41 people – including seven children – treated for injuries.
Three people were rushed to hospital but Kent Police’s road policing unit broke the news of the birth and said there were no serious injuries.
It announced the news on Twitter, saying: ‘Pleased to update no serious injuries with overturned coach at junction 3 M25. Proud to see all emergency services working so effectively together.
‘And just to make things interesting a baby boy was born at scene.’
Builder Mitchell Melvin witnessed the crash and said he and two friends helped to pull people from the coach in the aftermath of the crash.
The 24-year-old from Sidcup said he was leaving the M25 in his van when the lorry came off the motorway and ‘slid straight in front of us’.
‘We went down the side of the bus and saw lots of people had went through the side windows,’ he said.
‘The bus landed on its side. I went and got the hammer and smashed the back window.’
He added: ‘A fence post had went up through the windows. I think the fence stopped the bus from falling down.
‘There was lots of screaming. One of the kids was stuck underneath. They had been sitting on the left-hand side bus. The kids were about six or seven years old.
‘Some of the passengers were bleeding and had big patches of blood.’
He claims firefighters told him that if the coach had landed in the slip road ‘they would have been scraping up dead bodies’, Mitchell said.
The coach crash caused major delays for drivers with seven miles of queues and delays of 90 minutes being reported on the anti-clockwise lanes of the M25.
It is understood the coach crashed through a barrier before sliding down an embankment and overturning.
Many of the passengers inside were said to be on a family holiday when the horror crash occurred.
The ambulance service tweeted: ‘Following reports of a coach involved in an RTC on the M25 at J3, we have 41 patients.
‘Currently, 31 adults and 7 children with minor injuries, three other patients with more serious injuries taken to hospital.’
The Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Kent, was put on major incident alert after the crash, a spokesman said.
Highways England warned drivers that the slip road as well as lanes 1 and 2 of the main M25 carriageway anti-clockwise were closed at rush hour.
It says drivers should expect closures to be in place until Tuesday morning.
Photos showed the motorway gridlocked on the approach to the Dartford Crossing.
Earlier on Monday, a Highways England spokesman said: ‘In Kent, the M25 anti-clockwise is fully blocked at J3 due to a serious incident.
‘The M25 J3 anti-clockwise exit slip road is also closed to allow the Emergency services work at the scene.
‘Severe delays of over an hour and a half are being measured on the approach to the incident.’