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Latest: Four people remain in hospital after Limerick schoolbus crash

  • A schoolbus was involved in a major road accident on the R513, near Caherconlish, Co Limerick at around 8.50am this morning.
  • Around 46 students from John The Baptist Community School were on board.
  • 36 people were removed from the scene and brought to University Hospital Limerick.
  • All but four of those patients have been discharged.

Update 5.59pm: Four people remain in hospital after a crash between a schoolbus and a car in Co Limerick this morning.

The collision took place near the village of Caherconlish as a group of secondary students were on their way to school.

36 people were taken to University Hospital Limerick, 32 of whom have since been discharged.

Separate investigations by Gardaí and Bus Éireann are taking place into the cause of the crash.

Pic: Press 22

Update 4.49pm: Students escaped with 'minor injuries' from Limerick schoolbus crash

The Principal of John The Baptist Community School has said that counselling will be available for students and teachers involved in a crash in Co Limerick.

The bus was taking 46 secondary students to school when it collided with a vehicle near the village of Caherconlish and ended up in a ditch.

However, there were no critical injuries among the students said Noreen Rafferty, Principal of John The Baptist Community School.

“(It was) all minor injuries. All parents are with their students. Some were carried by ambulance (to University Hospital Limerick) and parents carried the rest of their students in,” Rafferty told The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s RedFM.

“We were very lucky that a lot of our teachers come out from Limerick city so they were on the scene immediately.”

Another school bus came upon the scene and counselling will also be available to those students.

“Some of the Leaving Certs and third years were doing their pre-exams. They’re shocked but we’re about to get the counselling set-up in the school now.

“Another bus came on behind that bus so we had to look after those children as well. They were taken, very kindly, by the local primary school in Caherline and looked after by our teachers and the teachers there as well.”

Update 3.26pm: Seven people still in hospital after Limerick schoolbus crash

The HSE says seven people continue to be assessed after a crash between a schoolbus and a car in Co. Limerick this morning.

The bus was taking 46 secondary students to John The Baptist Community School, when it collided with a vehicle near the village of Caherconlish and ended up in a ditch.

Most of the 32 patients who were taken to University Hospital Limerick have now been discharged.

Most of the injuries were soft tissue injuries but also included a small number of fractures.

Children and their families were also offered counselling and follow-up psychiatric support is being arranged through their school.

Update 1.33pm: 26 people, including 24 teens, brought to hospital after major Limerick crash

At least two investigations are underway after a schoolbus was involved in a serious crash this morning in Limerick.

A total of 26 people have been taken to hospital - 24 secondary students and two adults. Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

"Bus Éireann are currently assisting the relevant authorities with their investigations into the incident,” a statement from the operator said.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we cannot comment further at this time."

Ita Browne, school deputy principal, said: “An incident took place this morning involving a bus making its way to our school. A number of parents and teachers were on the scene immediately, as we're the emergency services.”

“The school’s critical incident team was immediately activated and continues to operate in response to the situation.”

“Our first and primary concern is the well being of our students. The school, Bus Eireann, and emergency services, are working together to ensure the safety of all students and all involved in the accident.”

“The school has made contact with all concerned; parents and guardians. All concerned are receiving the attention that they require.”

Ms Browne said she believed a second bus containing more students, which was not involved in the collision, was traveling behind when the first bus ended up on its side in a ditch off the road.

“There was another bus… there was a bus behind that bus so some of (those on board) would have witnessed it, but that (bus) wasn't involved,” she added.

Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) are advising the school on offering counselling services for students affected by the incident.

“NEPS are advising us and are in contact with the school and we will have psychologists here very shortly and the school will remain open until 7pm tonight,” Ms Browne said.

“We're helping (the students) out and NEPS will provide us with assistance and advice on that issue.”

“We were very saddened to hear of the accident this morning, (and) so we are happy that nobody was seriously injured.”

Pic: Press 22

Ms Browne said the students travelling on the bus at the time would have ranged in ages.

“They would have ranged from First Year (through to) Leaving Cert.”

Pic: Keith Wiseman

Education Minister Richard Bruton said that his department is doing everything it can to help.

"Certainly, my heart is with the parents and children involve,d I hope that everyone is safe," he said.

"As far as the Department is concerned, we will be working with Bus Éireann and the other authorities to make sure that every support is provided to the families.

"It is a worrying time, and our hearts are with them."

Limerick Fine Gael TD, Tom Neville, reacting to news of the incident, said: “My thoughts are with all involved in this morning’s incident in county Limerick and their families. I hope that all make a full and quick recovery.”

“The immediate priority here for all is the health and care of all involved in the road accident. As the first details are emerging, everyone in Limerick has been shocked by what occurred.”

“All rescue personnel should be commended by their rapid rescue response to help all those at the scene.”

“It is imperative that all necessary help and support is provided to all those affected.

“This has already been displayed by the excellent response experienced at Connelly’s Cross near Caherconlish, St John the Baptist School in Hospital and continuing in University Hospital Limerick today.”

Earlier: Twenty people, including 18 teens, brought to hospital after major Limerick crash

Update 11.31am: Members of the public have been urged not to attend the Emergency Department University Hospital Limerick "unless absolutely necessary" following a road accident involving a schoolbus today.

According to a hospital statement, 20 people - 18 minors and two adults - are travelling to the hospital from the scene of the accident near Caherconlish.

Seven casualties were being transported by emergency ambulances and those with less severe injuries are being transported on intermediate care vehicles and a minibus.

The resuscitation and paediatric areas of the Emergency Department were cleared in anticipation of casualties at 9.30am.

Casualties will be retriaged on arrival at the Emergency Department. Additional surgical teams and nursing staff, including paediatric and trauma nurses, have been assigned to the ED in anticipation of trauma-type injuries. Both the emergency theatre and trauma theatre are also on standby.

Update 11am: Around 46 students on board schoolbus involved in major Limerick road accident

Bus Éireann has said that there were approximately 46 students on board a schoolbus involved in a serious crash in Co Limerick today.

The accident involved a sub-contracted vehicle on one of the company’s school transport services. There have been no confirmed fatalities, according to Bus Éireann.

"Our investigation is ongoing and we cannot comment further at this time," the statement read.

"We would like to express our gratitude to all the emergency services for their rapid response, and we will continue to liaise with the school and parents of the injured students."

The drivers of both vehicles have been taken to University Hospital in Limerick.

Update 10.17am: 15 removed in ambulances after crash involving schoolbus in Co Limerick

Ambulances have removed 15 people with various levels of injuries from the scene of a road accident involving a schoolbus in Co Limerick this morning.

The majority of injured have been described as “walking wounded”.

The bus ended up on its side in a ditch on the R513 near the village of Caherconlish.

The driver of another vehicle involved is being cut from the wreckage by emergency service personnel.

A fleet of ambulances are at the scene, and an air ambulance helicopter is there on standby.

Pic: Keith Wiseman

Students were evacuated to a nearby disused filling station forecourt and are being assessed there by paramedics.

The students were travelling in the bus to John The Baptist Community School, in Hospital, Co Limerick.

A source at the school said they are inundated with phone calls from concerned parents.

One vehicle at the scene has been described as "mangled".

Update 9.42am: A “multi-vehicle collision” involving a schoolbus in Co Limerick is being described by a reliable source as a “serious incident”, writes David Raleigh.

The source said there are about 40-50 people involved, including mostly teenagers.

Several people have been injured. The full extent of their injuries are unknown, although they are not believed, at this point, to be life-threatening.

A helicopter is en route to the scene at the R513 at Caherconlish and extra fire tenders are on route from county stations.

Earlier: Schoolbus involved in multi-vehicle collision in Limerick

Emergency services are at the scene of a “multi-vehicle collision” in Co Limerick involving a schoolbus and two other vehicles, writes David Raleigh.

The incident occurred in the townland of Caherconlish known as Connelly’s Cross.

Emergency services received a 999 call of a report of a schoolbus and two vehicles involved in a collision at 8.40am.

Four units attached to Limerick City and County Fire and Rescue Service are currently on at the scene.

It is unclear if there have been any serious injuries.

Limerick City and County Council tweeted that the “R513 between Herbertstown and Caherline is closed until further notice due to a multi-vehicle crash”.

“Local diversions are in place from Caherconlish to Ballyneety, and then rejoining the R513 at Herbertstown #Limerick @aaroadwatch,” it added.

More to follow...