The school bus was yesterday (January 25) left on its right side on a grass verge next to the RN 524 road, between Eauze and Manciet, after another car - reportedly a Renault Clio, whose driver was one of those injured - allegedly did not give way to the oncoming vehicle, according to reports.
The school bus had been carrying 45 pupils in 3e (aged around 14) along with five adults from the collège (middle school) Jean-Rostand d’Eauze, and was on the way back from a school trip.
Two of those injured - both of collège age - were airlifted by helicopter to hospital in Toulouse.
#Gers Accident de car scolaire à #Manciet - Le bilan toujours provisoire à 18h15 s'élève à 29 blessés dont 7 graves. A 18h20 toutes les victimes ont été évacuées et les moyens sont en cours de démontage. https://t.co/k1DcQkHC3V pic.twitter.com/IZs3k51pqQ— Préfète du Gers (@Prefet32) January 25, 2018
A temporary “hospital” was set up at the scene of the accident, to help treat less serious injuries on-site.
According to initial reports, the Clio did not give way to oncoming traffic, and drove on to the road just as the bus was driving along.
The latter was reportedly not able to stop in time, due to dampness on the road, and ended up on its side.
The collège has now set up psychological support for those affected by the accident, as well as extra support for the friends of those who were injured.
The minister for education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has said he is “attentively following [updates on] the health of the injured students”.
An inquiry into “involuntary injury” has now been set up to establish what actually happened, with the first reports suggesting that neither driver tested positive for alcohol.
More updates are expected in the next few days.
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