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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 20:41 GMT
Teenage girl killed in bus crash
Nicola Murray
Nicola Murray was killed in the collision
The girl who was killed following a collision between a school bus and a lorry has been named as Nicola Murray.

The 16-year-old was a pupil at St Ciaran's High School in Ballygawley. Nicola's nine-year-old cousin Grainne Mallon remains critically ill.

The crash happened as the bus turned into St Mary's Primary School in Cabragh at about 0830 GMT on Wednesday.

Six other pupils and the driver who were also injured have since been discharged from hospital.

The principal of St Ciaran's High School, Aidan Taggart, said: "Our thoughts and prayers and the sympathy of our entire school community is extended to the family at this very difficult time.

"Our thoughts and prayers are also with the families of those who have been injured."

The bus was carrying about eight pupils from St Ciaran's High School and seven from St Mary's Primary School.

The driver of the lorry, who was arrested after the accident, has since been released by police.

Five ambulances went to the scene. The injured were taken to Craigavon Area Hospital and one child has since been transferred to hospital in Belfast.

The injured children are aged between seven and 17.

Accident blackspot

It is understood the bus involved was a new vehicle, fully fitted with seatbelts and had CCTV cameras.

The schools said there was a good culture of wearing seatbelts among the pupils.

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane said: "I have been deeply upset by news of this morning's incident and my thoughts go out to those affected by the accident.

The injured children are aged between seven and 17
The injured children are aged between seven and 17

"The Southern Education and Library Board are providing support to the schools involved through their critical incident response team at what will be a very difficult time for the families, schools and communities involved."

The chief executive of the Southern Education and Library Board, Helen McClenaghan, said it was tragic that a young life had been lost.

She is hoping to speak to some of the injured at the hospital but said relatives were "absolutely at a loss and deeply, deeply grieving and distressed".

Local SDLP councillor Anthony McGonnell said it was "an horrific scene".

He praised the emergency services who, he said, "responded magnificently and were here literally within minutes".

The councillor said it was the latest in a long line of serious accidents on the road.





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