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Essex school children in France coach crash

St Helena pupils involved in coach crash near Calais


A coach carrying 49 school children from Essex has overturned in France injuring seven people.

The party from St Helena secondary school, in Colchester, was returning from a snowboarding trip in Austria when the coach tipped over near Calais, France.

Essex County Council said six children and the coach driver were taken to hospital but nobody was seriously injured.

A council spokeswoman said the pupils and teachers onboard managed to climb out of the vehicle through a window following the accident.

She said: "They got out through a back window. There weren't any major injuries, apart from cuts and bruises.

"No other vehicles are thought to have been involved in the crash."

Headteacher Kevin Prince, who was not on the trip, said: "I'm very grateful that all the children are well and that there were no major injuries."

He thanked the French authorities for the support they had given in ensuring the children were safe and got home as quickly as possible.

French police will now investigate what caused the coach to overturn.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Clive Garner from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I am extremely relieved that this accident has led to only minor injuries, and whilst more information about the crash has yet to be released I hope that there will be increased awareness of safety issues when travelling by coach abroad."

"As a result of the high number of people we have represented over the past few years who have been injured in foreign coach crashes, we have been making increasingly urgent calls for improved safety checks and more rigorous measures to be put in place to minimise the number of serious injuries and fatalities we were seeing."

If you or a loved one has been injured in a road traffic accident while on holiday or working abroad, our specialist holiday accidents & illness claims team could help you to secure the compensation you deserve. See our Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claims page for more information.