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Kent pensioners from the Medway towns injured in Scottish bus crash

Twenty three people were today still being treated in hospital after a coach crash involving Medway passengers in Scotland.

Dozens have been taken to three Scottish hospitals, with a rest centre set up to support the remaining 29 people on board. They have now been taken to local hotels.

At least 19 of the injured are believed to be Medway pensioners.

Drivers and emergency workers help the injured pensioners up the steep bank. Picture: Stuart Herd
Drivers and emergency workers help the injured pensioners up the steep bank. Picture: Stuart Herd

The bus carrying 52 holidaymakers was returning to the hotel after a day trip when the accident happened on the A83 just after 2pm yesterday.

Chief Inspector Fraser Candlish said: “This has clearly been a terrifying experience for all of those involved and officers have been working closely with our partners to provide support to those effected and ensure everyone’s safety.

“All 52 people on board the coach have been accounted for and we are currently working to ensure those who have not been taken to hospital are transported to a suitable location to spend the night.

“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the incident, however early indications would suggest that the high winds may have been a factor."

The coach came off the A83
The coach came off the A83

Eyewitness Stuart Herd told KentOnline yesterday: "We got out of the cars and immediately ran over to see what had happened and that's when we realised how serious it was.

"Everyone was helping the pensioners get out of the coach and up the very steep embankment.

"You've got to remember it was freezing cold and hailing. It really was bitterly cold and moments ago they had been sitting on a nice warm bus without their jackets on.

"You've got to remember it was freezing cold and hailing. It really was bitterly cold and moments ago they had been sitting on a nice warm bus without their jackets on" - Eyewitness Stuart Herd

"We had to get them out of the coach, and up the bank and into the cars to warm them up - those who could walk. 

"Some looked in a pretty bad way."

Five people have been seriously hurt in the crash, which the travel company says was "weather related."

Mr Herd, an artist who lives in Argyll, had been delivering paintings to a gallery when he saw the coach come off the road ahead of his car.

He says the windows on the right side of the coach was completely smashed, but he does not think the vehicle rolled over.

"I think it left the road at a sharp angle and slid down the bank," he said.

"It finished up two metres from a loch. If it had tipped the other way this could have been a lot, lot worse."

An RAF helicopter took part in the rescue. Picture: Stuart Herd
An RAF helicopter took part in the rescue. Picture: Stuart Herd

The coach party was on a trip organised by Scottish holiday firm Lochs & Glens.

The pensioners were picked up from the Medway towns and driven to Scotland where they were staying in a hotel.

In a statement, Lochs & Glens said: "A coach from the Medway Towns area was involved in an accident on the A83 this afternoon following a weather-related incident.

"We are liaising with the emergency services regarding the injured passengers and to establish the cause of the accident.

Nineteen people from the Medway towns are in hospital following the crash
Nineteen people from the Medway towns are in hospital following the crash

"In the meantime, coaches have been provided to transport the remaining passengers back to their hotel.

"The driver and the company are co-operating fully with the police investigation to establish the exact cause."

The company said it was "providing all necessary support" for the passengers who were on board and the relatives of those who have been injured.


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