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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Pupils hurt in France coach crash
Jim Clarke
Head teacher Jim Clarke said there were no serious injuries
A coach carrying children from a West Midlands school to France on a school trip has been involved in an accident.

The vehicle, taking children from Pool Hayes School in Willenhall to Chatel in the French Alps, is believed to have had a blow-out and hit a barrier.

No-one has been seriously injured, but paramedics have treated some children on the motorway south of Champagne.

Almost 45 staff and pupils aged between 12 and 15 were onboard when the coach crashed just before 0600 BST.

Ninety pupils were travelling overnight on two coaches to the ski resort of Chatel.

'Get somewhere safe'

The coach which crashed was carrying 40 children and four staff, taking them on a French language trip to the Alps.

The head teacher at the school, Jim Clarke, said the coach was upright under a road bridge and that children were being taken to a nearby service station to be cared for.

Mr Clarke said: "Nobody has been seriously hurt, children have been treated for bumps and bruises and have been checked over by paramedics."

He said a replacement coach was on its way to transport the children and that a representative from the resort was travelling to the scene.

Chalons-en-Champagne

"The group leaders are saying that the children want the trip to continue, that was the reaction at the scene, but our main concern is to get the children to somewhere safe and make a decision from there," Mr Clarke said.

The family of one of the pupils, Alex McCristie, told BBC News they had been contacted by him to say that everyone on board was safe and well although very shaken by what had happened.

Adele Perry, Alex's mother, said: "Everyone was very shaken up.

"One teacher had a stiff neck but otherwise they're fine, they are sorting the wreckage out."

Mr Clarke said the coach company, STS School Travel Service Limited which has headquarters in Brighton, had been used for previous trips and had been very reliable.

The youngsters left the West Midlands at 1400 BST on Thursday and were due to arrive at the resort at 1100 BST on Friday.


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