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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 February 2006, 04:41 GMT
Coach crash pupils return to UK
Crash scene
The schools were on half-term ski trips to Austria
Pupils from two British schools have returned home after a coach crash in Germany in which a 14-year-old boy and a driver died.

Stuart Dines, from Thomas Mills High School, in Framlingham, Suffolk, was killed in the crash.

The British assistant driver on the second bus, carrying pupils from Norwich School in Norfolk, also died in the accident on the A4 near Cologne.

The schools were on separate half-term ski trips to Austria.

A group of UK specialists trained in dealing with trauma and disasters flew to Germany after the collision to accompany the schools on their return coach journeys.

Puncture

The Thomas Mills High School coach had been carrying 55 pupils, aged between 12 and 16, accompanied by six members of staff. It was operated by GT International, based in Worcester Park, Surrey.

Students arrived at the school shortly after 0100GMT on Sunday morning to be reunited with their parents.

I would like to pay tribute to the calm and professional way in which everyone has responded
Thomas Mills High School head teacher Colin Hirst

Thomas Mills headteacher Colin Hirst said the school's thoughts were with Stuart's family and friends.

"I would like to pay tribute to the calm and professional way in which everyone has responded," he added.

"Over the next week we will be making arrangements to support all students and staff as they return to school."

The second coach carrying 36 pupils and five staff, was owned by Ambassador Travel, of Great Yarmouth.

A spokesman for Norwich County Council said none of the children on the bus was seriously hurt.

The crash took place at about 0220GMT on Saturday, between Kerpen Buir and Duren.

Stuart Dines was on a coach that had stopped on the A4 motorway's hard shoulder after suffering a puncture.

A lorry ploughed into the stationary coach and a second coach, carrying the pupils from the private Norwich School, then collided with the two vehicles.

The children had to be treated on a grass verge, and a nearby fire station and school were used as makeshift first aid centres.

More than 20 people received treatment for injuries after the crash.

Officials said two people were being kept in hospital. One is described as being in a critical condition.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The headteacher pays his repects to the teenager



SEE ALSO:
Head's tribute to 'lovely' pupil
11 Feb 06 |  Suffolk
In pictures: Bus crash in Germany
11 Feb 06 |  In Pictures


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