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School bus that crashed into rail bridge was only going at 11mph

PABest The scene on Well House Lane in Winchester after three children were taken to hospital with serious injuries while 12 others suffered minor injuries after the school bus they were travelling in crashed into a railway bridge. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 10, 2020. See PA story POLICE Bus. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The scene on Well House Lane in Winchester (Picture: PA)

A double-decker school bus which crashed into a bridge leaving children with serious injuries was only travelling at 11mph, it emerged today.

Three children were left with severe injuries while 12 suffered minor injuries following the incident near Winchester, Hampshire.

An investigation was launched last week after the vehicle, carrying more than 70 secondary school pupils, smashed into the bridge at around 8am last Thursday.

After studying evidence, investigators understand the red Stagecoach bus was travelling at 11mph when it hit the bridge in minor injuries following the terrifying incident around 8am on Thursday in Headbourne Worthy.

It is believed the investigation into the incident will take three months.

The bus driver, said to be in his 30s, was in his first week on the ‘easy’ route taking pupils to Henry Beaufort School in nearby Harestock.

Pictured: The bus being removed by a heavy removal truck from the tunnel. School children were rushed to hospital with serious injuries today after a bus driver smashed his double decker into a low bridge and tore the roof off 'on his first day'. Pupils on the school bus which crashed into a railway bridge had shouted at the 'novice' driver to tell him he was not taking the right route, it has been claimed. The top 4ft of the red double decker appeared to have been sheared completely off in the terrifying incident at 8am this morning as children aged 11 to 16 were taken to school. Three pupils were rushed to hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries and 13 were treated for minor injuries at the scene in the village of Headbourne Worthy, near Winchester, Hants. SEE OUR COPY FOR DETAILS. ?? Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800

The bus being removed by a heavy removal truck from the tunnel (Picture: Jordan Pettitt/Solent News)

He should have ‘stuck to the route’, even if he was running late, and now risks losing his job, a colleague has said.

At this stage the driver has not yet faced any police action.

Inspector Andy Tester, of Hampshire Constabulary, who is involved in the investigation, has said different systems can be used to inform them of the speed the bus was travelling.

He said: ‘There are various systems in the bus that will tell us how fast the bus was going. We believe there was CCTV in the bus that will give us vital information about what happened in the immediate moments before this crash.

‘It does show that there must have been quite a significant impact between the bus and the bridge parapet and that has completely removed the roof front to back and that does take a degree of force.’

Inspector Tester said it ‘was lucky’ there were no fatalities.

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