Horror day for ACTION Buses

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One man has died and five school children were injured in a horror day for ACTION buses on Canberra roads yesterday.

Ambulance paramedics and police were called to three separate accidents after 3pm, two involving ACTION buses.

A man believed to be in his 40s was killed instantly after being hit by a bus outside the Hellenic Club in Phillip.

Police said the accident occurred about 5.30pm in Launceston Street between Furzer and Callam Streets. All lanes in Callam Street were closed for a number of hours while police investigated the scene.

Inquiries were continuing last night, and police urged any witnesses to contact them.

Earlier in the afternoon, five school children were injured in a three-bus pile-up outside St Francis Xavier Primary School, on Barnard Circuit in Florey.

According to police an articulated bus clipped the back of another stationary bus as it moved out from the school bus bay about 3pm.

The stationary bus then jolted forward, running into another bus at the front of the bay.

Ambulance officers treated children at the scene for minor injuries including bruising and injuries from glass fragments.

A 13-year-old girl with suspected broken ribs and a 13-year-old boy with a fractured collar bone were transported to the Canberra Hospital by ambulance, and three others were taken to hospital by parents. All were in a stable condition last night.

In the third accident a woman was hit by a car on London Circuit, opposite the Canberra Theatre, just after 5pm, an ambulance spokesman said.

The woman, aged in her mid-20s, received serious lower leg injuries and was taken to the Canberra Hospital.

The near tragedy of two bus accidents this week involving school children has sparked calls for an ACT school-bus safety strategy.

An accident involving a group of children in Ainslie, and yesterday’s Florey crash have prompted a group of lawyers to plan a round-table discussion with community and school groups and motoring organisations.

The ACT president of the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association, John Little, said recent accidents highlighted the need for a safety plan for school buses.

Source: Canberra Times 16/2/2001
Author: Stacey Lucas/Bridie Smith