Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

SCARIEST MOMENT of My Life Scariest Moment of My Life

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

SCARIEST MOMENT of My Life Scariest Moment of My Life

Article excerpt

SEVENTEEN people were injured, one seriously, after the roof of a double-decker bus on a wrong route was ripped off as the driver passed under a railway bridge.

Passengers on board the number 17 First Bus service in Rochdale spoke of their terror, with one describing the smash as 'the scariest moment of my life'.

The driver began working for First Manchester in June, a spokesman con-firmed, but it was her first week driving unsupervised after 'rigorous training'.

She drove the route last week. One theory is she might have got lost after taking a wrong turn.

Witnesses told how they saw victims covered in blood staggering around in tears.

Onlookers and staff from a nearby chemist ran to help police and fire-fighters help injured passengers free.

There were 25 people on board, with some believed to have been sat on the top deck. Twelve were taken to hospital, with five others treated at the scene. One, a man in his 20s, suffered a badly broken jaw. Witnesses said most of the 17 suffered head, leg and facial injuries.

Urgent investigations have been launched by police and the bus company, which confirmed the double decker had deviated from its normal route.

A key question will be why the driver took the route she did. There are not thought to be any roadworks in the immediate area.

The smash, which stopped trains for two hours, happened on Milkstone Road in Deeplish, near Rochdale railway station. The bus was bound for Rochdale town centre.

The roof was completely sliced off, leaving seats exposed and smashed glass strewn across the ground. The bridge near Miall Street has an illuminated height warning sign to prevent any vehicle higher than 12ft 6ins from passing under it.

Passenger Daisy Murphy, 18, was on the bottom deck and told how she realised the bus had deviated from its normal route.

She said: "Suddenly it just crashed and all of the glass fell from the roof. …

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