Bus and taxi collide in Friesland, injuring 14 adults & children; 4 critically hurt
A traffic accident involving a passenger bus and a taxi van left 14 people injured on Tuesday afternoon. Several children were among the wounded, police said. Rescue workers were still on the scene dealing with the aftermath in the hours after the incident.
At least three people who were in the taxi were taken from the scene in critical condition. Two other people traveling in the taxi were also hurt. The company operating the taxi, Dorenbos, also provides student transportation. The remaining nine injured people were passengers in the Arriva bus at the time of the crash. It was not immediately clear which vehicle was carrying the children who were wounded in the accident. Some of those who were hurt suffered minor injuries.
The incident happened at about 2:30 p.m. in the northbound lane of Westergoawei, a portion of the N383 near Berlikum. The village, known as Berltsum in the Frisian language, lies about 15 kilometers west of Leeuwarden. Photos from the scene showed the bus facing north in the right lane with extensive damage to its front end and front door.
The taxi, a Fiat E-Ulysse, also had significant front-end damage. The vehicle appeared to have been knocked out of the same lane and into the grassy shoulder. The road was subsequently closed in both directions.
Many paramedics, firefighters, and police officers were dispatched to the scene. Two medical trauma teams were also sent to the area by helicopter, records showed. The incident was scaled up to a Grip 1 regional emergency, where protocol calls for all first responders to coordinate under a single incident commander.
A spokesperson for Arriva told AD that their bus driver was trapped in the incident. He was extracted from the vehicle by firefighters. “As far as we know, he escaped unscathed. That is of course a great relief for us," the spokesperson said. "We wish the other victims a speedy recovery. This of course has had a great impact on everyone.”
The N383 was not expected to be reopened until Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.