The driver of a double-decker bus completely ripped off its roof yesterday by trying to pass under a low rail bridge in Rochdale. Although there were 25 people on board the First Manchester service most escaped with minor injuries.
A statement released by Greater Manchester Police said 17 of the passengers were treated at the scene by paramedics and one female was taken to hospital for treatment for injuries to her face. Unconfirmed reports suggest one of the other passengers sustained a broken jaw.
The crash occurred at lunchtime on Rochdale’s Milkstone Road. Bystanders said there was a horrific bang when the bus hit the bridge and this was followed by screams and lots of crying. Police-inspector Stephen Clarke said it was fortunate nobody was trapped in the wreckage of the bus.
The inspector noted that officers would be investigating the crash and urged witnesses to get in touch if they could help. First Manchester boss Teresa Broxton also stated that it would be launching its own enquiry into the reasons for the crash.
She did add that the company’s immediate priority was supporting passengers who had been injured and also the bus’s driver. Witnesses said the female driver was unhurt and would have avoided the main impact of the crash as she was downstairs.
The bus operator has already stated the number 17 service was not following its route and was half-a-mile from where it should have been. Train services were suspended after the accident to enable Network Rail engineers to make sure the bridge had not been structurally damaged.