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12th Jun 2023

Ten people killed after ‘heartbreaking’ wedding bus crash

Steve Hopkins

‘So cruel, so sad and so unfair’

At least 10 people have died and more than 20 others are in hospital after a wedding bus crashed in an incident that has led to the driver being arrested.

The passengers were reportedly returned from a wedding at a winery in Australia’s Hunter Valley, Sunday, when the coach overturned on Wine County Drive, near Greta.

The number of fatalities could increase, with 25 passengers taken to hospital – two of them airlifted from the scene, NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman said.

She added that the bus is still on its side and people could be trapped underneath. A crane will be brought in to lift the bus.

The circumstances surrounding the crash are unknown, but the vehicle crashed while making a turn at a roundabout off a highway, at 11.30pm local time, in heavy fog, police said.

It is thought the guests were travelling to Singleton “presumably for their accommodation”, Chapman said.

A guest at the wedding told 7 News that the day had been a “fairy tale” until news of the accident broke.

The 58-year-old driver has been arrested.

Chapman said there was “sufficient information” to charge the coach driver, who was also sent to hospital for minor injuries.

“He’s under arrest. He’s been the driver of a motor vehicle collision where there have been fatal injuries and there will be charges pending,” she explained, according to a report by the BBC.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it is “so cruel, so sad and so unfair” for a “joyous day in a beautiful place like that to end with such terrible loss of life”.

At a press conference in Canberra, he said:”People hire a bus for weddings in order to keep their guests safe, and that just adds to the unimaginable nature of this tragedy.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns said the loss of so many lives was “nothing short of heartbreaking”, adding: “For this horrific crash to have occurred on a day that should have been filled with love and happiness only adds to the heartbreak”.

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