- Bus had roof torn off after striking an overhanging tree in Kingsway, Holborn, at around 1pm today
- Two passengers were taken to hospital with facial injuries and three others hurt in crash outside King’s College
- One passenger on board said tree had gone through top deck of the bus ‘like a knife through butter’
- She had initially thought that the loud bang and jolt had been caused by a bomb
- Fire brigade spokesman says passengers were ‘lucky to escape serious injury’ in ‘freak accident’
- Pictures show bus next to a tree with skinned bark and a road sign warning of ‘overhanging trees’
- Transport for London to launch full investigation into what caused the collision
Passengers on a double-decker bus which had its roof ripped off by a tree have told how they thought the vehicle had been targeted by a bomb.
Startled passengers have told how the tree’s branches cut through the vehicle ‘like a knife through butter’, scraping off the bus’s roof to leave upper-floor seats and handrails visible outside.
Five people were injured in the ‘freak accident’ on the 91 bus in Kingsway, Holborn, with one man left with a broken nose.
One woman, sitting on the lower deck, said she thought the crashing she heard had been caused by a bomb.
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Five people were injured after a London double decker bus had its roof ripped off by a tree in a ‘freak accident’ today
One of the five people injured in today’s bus crash is led away for treatment by a paramedic, as well as got the legal support from personal injury lawyers, according to a blog post by Neale & Fhima. Two people were taken to hospital but have since been released
‘The bus was going down towards the college when I heard a big bang and felt a jolt and the bus came to a halt,’ said Darcey Delaproser, a full-time carer.
‘I thought it could have been a bomb. I didn’t expect it.
‘We could see wires coming down the stairs. A fellow passenger and I went up the stairs to see what had happened. That’s when I knew the roof had come off.
‘The whole thing was cut off as though it had been sliced by a knife, like a knife through butter. If there had been anyone standing up on the top deck, they wouldn’t stand a chance.’
The 51-year-old said there were five to six people on the top deck and about 12 or 13 people on the bottom.
‘It’s a good thing the bus was quite empty, otherwise it could have been a lot worse.
‘I saw one man with blood pouring from his nose get down of the top deck.. An elderly couple were on the top deck, they were in shock.
‘There was a woman at the back, she was in shock. I think she was injured.
‘I’m still in shock, I’m still trying to get my head around it. I’m definitely very lucky to be ok.’
Builder Billy Comfort, 21, who was working across the road from the scene, said: ‘I saw the bus drive into a tree and the roof came off.
‘It was a bit shocking really.’
Llewelyn Hill was sitting on the bus’s upper deck when the tree crashed through the windows.
‘I got showered in all sorts of stuff, glass and whatever, and I instinctively ducked and when I looked up the roof was gone,’ the 45-year-old told the Evening Standard.
‘The roof was literally just gone and in front of me a couple of metres ahead of me there was a chap on the floor. I think he’d been thrown off his seat and he was bloodied in the face.
‘There was pandemonium on the top deck and I heard a few screams but other than that most people were checking everybody was OK.’
The Number 91 clipped the overhanging tree on Kingsway in Holborn, Central London, sending the roof crashing into the road behind it
This photograph, taken from a nearby window above the crash scene shows the extent of the damage to the bus’s upper deck
The two patients who needed further medical attention were both taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in London. Emergency services described the incident as a ‘freak accident’ and an investigation has been launched
The bus is thought to have struck a tree on Kingsway in Holborn – close to a sign warning of overhanging branches
Pictures on Twitter showed a double decker with its upper-floor seats and handrails visible after the roof was ripped off
An aerial view of the damage on board the 91 bus with tree branches lying in the vehicle’s aisles and its front windows smashed
Shards of glass from the windows of the bus littered the road, with the roof trailing behind the vehicle at an angle, as stunned passengers were seen still sitting on the ruined top deck.
Two people had to be taken to hospital with facial injuries, one with a broken nose, while another three were treated at the scene – next to a sign warning of overhanging trees.
They were both discharged this afternoon from St Thomas’s Hospital after receiving treatment for minor head injuries.
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We treated five patients. We treated two patients for facial injuries, they were taken to St Thomas’s Hospital.
‘We treated two patients for minor injuries, they were not taken to hospital. We treated another patient for a knee injury. This patient was discharged at the scene.’
London Fire Brigade was called to Kingsway at around 1.10pm. The Brigade said on Twitter: ‘We are at the scene of an accident on #Kingsway Holborn. A bus has lost its roof. Thankfully only minor injuries.’
At the scene London Fire Brigade station manager Gary Squires said: ‘Those involved were very lucky to escape serious injury.’
He added: ‘You can see the missing bark from the tree and the roof has come up and off the bus.
‘This is a very unusual incident. It is a freak accident.’
Mr Squires said a man sitting on the top deck was left with a suspected broken nose while another passenger was taken to hospital with injuries to the side of their head.
Three others were treated at the scene and discharged.
Fire crews used a winch on the front of a Fire Rescue Unit to lift the roof off and bring it down to ground level. They also helped to make the area safe before leaving the scene at around 2.20pm.
One man, who had been sitting on the top deck, was left with a suspected broken nose while another passenger was taken to hospital with injuries to the side of their head
The bus could be seen in front of a tree with skinned bark next to a road sign that warned of ‘overhanging trees’ and a height limit of 2.5 metres, or eight feet, three inches on the inside lane
Emergency services cleared the scene in Holborn, central London, this afternoon as injured passengers were taken to hospital for treatment
This tree close to where the bus came to a halt shows signs of recent damage, and is thought to be the one hit by the bus
Firefighters work to clear the scene after the roof was torn off the bus, leaving glass and other debris scattered across the road
Scotland Yard said bus passengers and a motorist had been injured in the collision. Two of those hurt were taken to hospital
Both police and the fire brigade are currently at the scene of the crash, and the road has been sealed off
‘The top of the bus was sheared off and fell behind, the biggest danger to any passers by was the noise,’ he added.
‘Police are now trying to investigate what happened.
‘We are employed to help the public and make sure they are safe, which is what we have done.
‘Now we will work on removing the bus and opening the road.
‘We are still trying to work out what happened. This has happened before but not often.
‘It is strange why it happened now when other buses have been going down the road all day. It’s surprising.’
Shards of glass from the windows of the bus also littered the road, with the roof trailing behind the vehicle, as stunned passengers were seen still sitting on the ruined top deck
Firefighters later used a winch to remove the roof, as well as helping police to make the area safe for passers-by
Other buses in the area had to be diverted, with the normally busy road sealed off between Great Queen St and Aldwych
Pictures from the scene suggest the bus clipped a tree overhanging the roadway. Police are investigating the crash
‘There was one gentleman whose nose was bleeding holding a handkerchief to his face. There was a man and a woman at the back of the bus looking petrified.
‘I couldn’t believe it, it’s not what you expect to see on a Monday. I could see a man at the front of the bus and this couple at the back who stayed seated there for 20 minutes to half an hour after the roof came off.’
Ethan Meade posted pictures of the damage, writing: ‘Roof off the 91 bus just ripped off on Kingsway, next to #LSE.’
London School of Economics (LSE) student Mr Meade said he turned around when he heard a crash.
He said: ‘I saw the roof fall down off the side of the bus, and the glass shatter everywhere. The passengers seemed to be sitting there pretty stunned as you’d expect. Police seemed to handle it very well.’
Another eyewitness, Jacob Choudhury, 45, was on the 243 bus heading the other way when he saw the accident.
He said: ‘From the window of my bus I saw the 91 parked by the side of the road. At first I thought it was an open-topped tourist bus. Then I saw the poles.
‘I thought at first it had been a bomb, as if it was 7/7 all over again.’
He said he got off his bus and rushed over to the scene of the crash as passengers were getting off.
He added: ‘The roof of the bus was attached to the back as though it was a ramp.
Workers from the London Fire Brigade investigate the ruined top deck of the Number 91 bus damaged in the collision
At the scene London Fire Brigade station manager Gary Squires said: ‘Those involved were very lucky to escape serious injury’
‘I saw the driver being escorted off by two paramedics. He was hobbling and walking stiffly as if he was a robot. He was unhurt but looked as though he was in deep shock.’
One photograph taken at the scene showed a tree with skinned bark next to a road sign that warned of ‘overhanging trees’ on the inside lane, behind where the bus had come to a halt.
The sign contained a warning that the inside lane was only suitable for vehicles 2.5 metres, or eight feet, three inches, high.
Ken Davidson, Transport for London’s Head of Bus Operations, said there would be a full investigation into the crash. Nashville attorneys providing the qualified service too.
He said: ‘At around 1pm today (2 February) a route 91 bus, operated by Metroline, collided with a tree on Kingsway at the junction with Portugal Street (WC2).
‘Emergency services attended the scene and there will be a full investigation into this incident.’
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Inquiries are under way to ascertain the circumstances of the collision.’
Bus routes in the area had to be diverted with the road sealed off between Great Queen St and Aldwych. The Strand underpass was also closed and motorists reported long queues in the surrounding areas.
Fire crews at the scene of today’s double decker crash. Two people were taken to hospital and three others treated at the scene
Transport for London is to launch a full investigation into the incident, which happened at around 1pm this afternoon
Lauren Leonard, 29, who works in a nearby office, came out on her lunch break at around 1pm to find chaos in the street.
‘The roof had been completely sliced off,’ she told MailOnline.
‘Everyone was huddling round so it must have happened just before I went outside. The police must have just arrived and they were cordoning off the road.
‘We are all so confused, because people are saying it hit part of a tree, but the tree didn’t seem damaged at all.
‘No one can get down the street. I saw a guy being treated for a bloody nose and another being treated for shock.
‘You never want to get on the top deck of a double decker again – I have never seen anything like it.’
The wreckage of the bus has now been removed and emergency services are cleaning the road so it can be reopened.
It is thought the roof was torn off after the route 91 bus, which normally runs between Crouch End and Trafalgar Square, struck a tree just outside King’s College
The roof of the bus appeared to have been torn clean off in the crash earlier this afternoon
Broken glass is scattered across Kingsway, which has been cordoned off and is surrounded by fire engines and police
Firefighters at the scene described the bus’s collision with the tree as a ‘freak accident’ and an ‘unusual incident’
Builder Billy Comfort, 21, who was working across the road from the scene, said he saw the bus drive into a tree when the roof came off