Bus crash students 'lucky to be alive'
BUS passengers in Neath were lucky to escape with their lives after a double-decker bus ploughed into a low bridge, ripping off part of the top deck.
Around 15 of them did suffer minor injuries and six needed hospital treatment after the crash in Dwr-y-Felin Road at 8.40am yesterday.
Witnesses watched in disbelief as the First Cymru bus, carrying college students, collided with a railway bridge it had no chance of getting under. The company has launched an investigation, as have the police.
One witness said: "I was driving to work and the bus just hit the bridge, the top deck almost came clean off.
"The front of it is very damaged, someone could have been killed.
"I am just wondering what the driver was thinking because the bridge was clearly labelled.
"It was chaos down there, I had to go through Pontardawe to get to work in Swansea, kids weren't being let past to get to school."
The bridge is marked with a sign warning vehicles taller than 13ft not to go under.
Blaenhonddan community councillor Mike Richards was quickly at the scene and was shocked that nobody had been seriously hurt.
He said: "I'm amazed at how something like this can happen it's such a shock and I'm only too glad that nobody was killed or seriously injured."
It is believed the bus was carrying Neath Port Talbot College students on their way to the Neath campus in Dwr-y-Felin Road, with many of them sitting on the top deck.
A spokesman for South Wales Police said: "Dwr-y-Felin Road was closed by police, but reopened at around 11am.
"The vehicle is being recovered for examination.
"There were 37 passengers on board the bus, with around 15 of them requiring treatment at the scene for minor injuries and shock and a small number required hospital treatment. Most of the passengers were aged in their late-teens."
It is understood the driver of the First Cymru bus was also treated for shock.
The firm's managing director Tony McNiff said: "Our immediate thoughts are with passengers who were on the vehicle at the time of the accident and we extend our concerns and apologies to them and their families.
"A full investigation is under way.
"We are grateful to the emergency services for their support; the bus will be recovered for a detailed examination. The safety of our customers and staff is, and always will be, our first priority."
A Morriston Hospital spokeswoman confirmed six casualties had been treated at the A&E department.
"Two were brought by ambulance and four arrived by other means," she said.
"There were no serious injuries, mainly cuts and bruises, and some were fitted with neck braces as a precautionary measure.
"We are not expecting to have to admit any of them to the wards."
Police are appealing for witnesses to contact the Roads Policing Unit on 01792 456999.
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