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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Ten hurt in M-way minibus crash
Minibus involved in crash
The railway workers were returning home when the crash happened
Ten railway workers from south Wales have been injured after a minibus crashed down an embankment on the M50 in Herefordshire.

Seven ambulances were involved in the rescue operation between Gorsley and Ross-on-Wye early on Friday.

One person had very serious injuries, three had spinal injuries, three others were taken away on a stretcher and two were described as walking wounded.

No other vehicles were involved and the M50 was shut in both directions.

The injured were taken to Hereford County Hospital from the scene between junctions three and four westbound.

Another person was apparently unhurt by the crash, which happened at around 0430 BST.

A Hereford County Hospital spokesman said on Monday that one person remained in a critical condition.

Five have been discharged, one has been transferred to a hospital in Birmingham and the condition of the remaining three in Hereford County was described as "comfortable and doing well".

Roy Aherne, of Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, said he was called at about 0600 BST with the news that his stepson had been involved in the accident.

Maintenance shift

Rhydian Hussey, 27, suffered a broken leg and head injuries but Mr Aherne said he was expected to make a full recovery.

The minibus
The side of the vehicle was ripped off on impact

Some of the more seriously injured were transferred to another hospital in Birmingham.

Their employer, Laboursite, was putting up relatives in a Hereford hotel while they waited for news.

Mr Aherne said his stepson and colleagues, who are all from Merthyr, were returning from a railway maintenance shift in Kidderminster.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said it had been a difficult operation.

Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade said the railway workers were all from Wales and were returning home when the accident happened. They were working for contractors Laboursite.

No details were available on exactly where they had been working or where they lived.

Isolated stretch

The minibus was one of two travelling in convoy when it hit a stone embankment at the side of the motorway and overturned.

The side of the vehicle was ripped off on impact and its occupants thrown into the carriageway.

It is not known whether the workers were wearing seatbelts.

The Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), which patrols the motorway network in the West Midlands, said: "The collision involved one motor vehicle, a Ford Transit minibus, that was travelling along the carriageway when, for reasons being investigated, it overturned.

"All the occupants have varying injuries and have been removed from the scene by ambulance to local hospitals."

Seven ambulances, including one from across the border in Wales, plus three fire crews were sent to the scene of the crash, on an isolated stretch.

Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade spokesman Alec Mackie said: "The difficulty was getting people down this embankment to get them out as there's no lighting on that stretch of the motorway."

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