10 dead in wedding bus crash in Australia

Monitoring Desk

SYDNEY: In a devastating incident, a wedding party bus crash in Australia’s Hunter wine region, north of Sydney, claimed the lives of 10 people, as announced by the police on Monday. The 58-year-old driver was arrested in connection with the tragic accident.

Television images depicted the light-coloured coach lying on its side after overturning late on Sunday night. The bus had been transporting guests from a wedding at a local winery. Emergency workers, clad in high-visibility yellow vests, were present at the scene, their vehicles’ lights illuminating the foggy night.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman stated that the death toll could potentially rise, as 25 passengers were rushed to the hospital, with two of them being airlifted by helicopter from the crash site. Chapman also mentioned that the bus had not been righted yet, with the deceased still inside, leaving the possibility of others being trapped underneath.

Chapman clarified that there were no children involved in the accident, according to the information available to the police. The coach driver underwent mandatory testing at the hospital before being held at a nearby police station in Cessnock. Chapman confirmed that the driver was under arrest and that charges would be pending, considering the fatal injuries resulting from the motor vehicle collision.

The passengers had attended a wedding together and were likely en route to their accommodations after the celebration. The police officer stated that there appeared to be no involvement of any other vehicle in the crash.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his condolences, recognizing weddings as joyous occasions for friends and family. He described the loss of life and injuries resulting from the accident as cruel, sad, and unfair. Albanese highlighted that people hire buses for weddings to ensure the safety of their guests, emphasizing the tragic nature of this event. He extended his wishes for the recovery of those hospitalized and conveyed gratitude to the emergency workers who responded to the scene.

The area is currently under examination by specialist forensic police and a Crash Investigation Unit. The Hunter region, known for its vineyards, kangaroos, and native bushland, is a popular destination for tourists and group outings. New South Wales Premier Chris Minns expressed his deepest condolences to the families and loved ones affected by the tragedy, emphasizing the profound sadness and shock felt by the community. The New South Wales Police have initiated investigations into the circumstances surrounding the accident.