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Seventeen injured after coach overturns near Oxford, England

Monday, December 13, 2010

At least seventeen people were admitted to an Oxford hospital after a coach, operated by the Oxford Tube service, overturned while exiting the M40 motorway near Thame, Saturday evening. There were no other vehicles involved according to Thames Valley Police.

The incident took place at around 2300 GMT Saturday night at junction seven of the M40 near Milton Common, when a coach, belonging to the Oxford Tube service, overturned on a slip road. A police spokesperson stated “The exit slip at junction seven was closed, as well as the A329 in both directions either side of the M40. The coach is in the process of being recovered from the motorway.” The motorway itself remained open.

Sergeant Steve Blackburn of Thames Valley Police stated that “The vast majority [of passengers] were walking wounded or not injured at all and were released either at the scene or shortly after receiving some treatment.”

John Nixon from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue noted that the coach was lying on its side on an embankment, stating that his crews’ priority had been to stabilise the coach. He added, “There were people laid on the side of the embankment, on the road, covered in space-type blankets to keep them warm”

Although there were no fatalities, five of the injured required surgery, which was undertaken at Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital. Of the other admissions, a number were discharged by Sunday morning.

A spokesperson for the Oxford Tube was quoted by the BBC as stating that, “Safety is our absolute priority and our immediate thoughts are with those who have been injured in the accident.” They added, “We will be carrying out our own internal investigation and assisting the police in any way that we can with their inquiries into the accident.”

Police have already begun an investigation into the cause of the accident and have requested witnesses come forward.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Three Mile Cross roads policing unit via Thames Valley Police’s 24-hour Enquiry Centre on 08458 505 505

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