ONE DEAD THREE SERIOUSLY INJURED AFTER FENLAND WORKERS TRIP TO THEME PARK

PUBLISHED: 12:01 19 August 2008 | UPDATED: 08:36 02 June 2010

crash fatal at Alton towers

crash fatal at Alton towers

ONE man died and three others seriously injured when their double decker coach- on a day trip from Fenland to Alton Towers- plunged down a steep embankment on the journey home. The coach, believed to come from Whittlesey, was heading home with 70 migrant

ONE man died and three others seriously injured when their double decker coach- on a day trip from Fenland to Alton Towers- plunged down a steep embankment on the journey home.

The coach, believed to come from Whittlesey, was heading home with 70 migrant workers- from Poland, Lithuania and South Africa- when the accident happened.

Three others on board the coach were critically ill after the accident and 20 others ferried to hospital. Two helicopters, eight ambulances, rapid response cars, and two first responders were called to the scene shortly before 6pm near the Staffordshire theme park.

Twenty-one people were taken to local hospitals in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Burton and Selly Oak, Birmingham, and dozens more sustained minor injuries.

Two of the injured were airlifted to hospital and paramedics treated "walking wounded" at the medical centre at Alton Towers.

The coach collided with two stationary vehicles and smashed through a wall before plunging 10 to 15 feet down an embankment, Staffordshire Police said.

The coach eventually came to a stop on its side, in a resident's garden.

Murray MacGregor, spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said the coach driver was seriously injured.

Chief Inspector John Maddox from Staffordshire Police said: "We're currently carrying out enquiries into how this crash happened, gathering evidence from the scene and speaking to witnesses. This is likely to take some time given the nature of the incident and the diverse background of those involved."

The victims were believed to be mostly Eastern European farm workers in their teens and 20s, on a trip from the Peterborough area.

Interpreters were rushed in to help as the victims' lack of English meant police could not determine how many people were on the bus and how many were still missing

After initial confusion, all 71 on board were accounted for last night.

The staff canteen at Alton Towers was turned into a refuge for the wounded.

(If you know more about the workers and where they came from, please email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk or call our newsdesk on 01354 652621)


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