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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Bus driver arrested over M1 crash
Coach crash

The driver of a coach which overturned at an M1 service area injuring 30 people has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving and dangerous driving.

The National Express bus clipped a kerb and rolled over as it entered Newport Pagnell services, Buckinghamshire, at about 1600 BST.

There were 33 passengers on the Birmingham to Stansted coach, and 30 of them were hurt, six seriously.

Police made the arrest after the driver was cut from the wreckage.

The M1 remained open, but the entry to the service station was closed following the crash.

map

The coach hit a lamppost and a tree as it overturned, said a spokesman for Welcome Break, which operates the service area.

First aid was given to casualties by staff members, he added.

Geoff Bottle, of Milton Keynes fire service, said firefighters had taken 40 minutes to free the trapped coach driver.

Some passengers used a skylight to escape from the vehicle.

Road and air ambulances took casualties to hospitals in Milton Keynes and Oxford.

Kirsty Plummer, a passenger, told BBC news: "I wasn't wearing my seatbelt at first and we were just swerving all over the place and going around corners really fast, so I put my seatbelt on and then just as we did, it come around the corner and crashed into something."

Door kicked open

Jaiden McClaine, another passenger, said: "As we went round the corner into the services the coach went right up in the air and turned over, passengers were shouting and screaming.

"One man kicked open a door and I got out."

In a statement, National Express said the coach was the 777 service travelling from Birmingham Digbeth to Stansted Airport, with 33 passengers on board.

The coach left Birmingham at 1400 BST to go to Luton Airport and was to due arrive at Stansted Airport at 1755 BST. It had also stopped at Coventry.

Aerial image of crash site



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Police speak of the driver's arrest



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03 Sep 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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