Thursday 28th May 2009 ~ A Serious Accident
Emergency services at the crash scene earlier today after the evacuation of passengers from 37571.
As you may have read below and seen on television, the X1 made headlines today. 37571 on L10 was in head on collision with a car which for unknown reasons was being driven on the wrong side of the road. The motorist was killed in the accident and thirteen bus passengers were injured. I saw the service leaving Wisbech and it appeared to be reasonably patronised, however passenger numbers are thought to have been slightly less than normal because of 37563 running late on the preceding service.
The A47 was closed until around 19.00 this evening with diversions being set up and long queues developing. 571 was badly damaged in the impact and ended up in a dyke at a dangerous angle. The bus had to be stabilised before passengers could safely disembark as it was feared that the bus might tip over onto its side. One elderly passenger on the upper deck was still being rescued two hours after the crash. The air ambulance attended and airlfted a lady with a broken pelvis to Addenbrookes Hospital. Several passengers were described as 'walking wounded'. 571 was being driven by one of the senior X1 drivers based at Lynn and fortunately he was not badly injured in the crash. Damage to the bus included the steering wheel being rammed into the camera monitor and the wheelchair ramp equipment being thrown from the vehicle. Fitters from King's Lynn arrived on an unidentified B10M and were in attendance for about five hours. They checked the condition of the B9 before it was removed this evening.
The day had begun in quite an ordinary manner. King's Lynn despatched the two Lowestoft B10Ms back to their home territory as expected with 20104 on K1 and 20103 on K4. Services from the coast appeared with 37565 (Y6), 37566 (Y7), 37576 (L8) and 37563 (Y9). 37571 on the doomed L10 was seen leaving Wisbech slightly early. Bruce saw 37578 on L11 and B7 20351 on Y13. 37576 returned on L8 five minutes late according to Bruce, but then there was a gap due to the incident and the next eastbound service was 37563 on Y9 which passed Walpole Highway at 12.54 (48 minutes late, which all things considered was a commendable effort).
K14 was 37579 but after this, the B9s seemed to be temporarily withdrawn (possibly for safety checks) as K15 was spotted by me leaving Walton Highway just 6 late with 20118. Had this accident occurred outside the school holidays we may well have seen some interesting workings as K16 following was 13 late with 20131 and K17 was 30 late with 20126. K18 was next with B7 20352. K19 was not seen (possibly cancelled) and K1 turned up just 7 late still with 20104. 37577 had been expected on K2, but this had changed vehicles too as early as 09.05 with 20105 also running 7 late. Terence viewed 105 leaving Lowestoft and K3 following it was 20109 for the second day running. Seven successive services seen with coaches cannot be a coincidence. That being said 37570 was out of service at Volvo Norwich today with a recurring ABS fault and 37574 had its MOT completed.
The B9s seemed to have regained their turns tonight and at 20.15 37565 was seen heading for Lowestoft on Y6 having worked all day unaffected by things. The westbound service seen was L10 now with 37575 instead of the ill fated 37571. 37568 was seen leaving Lynn on the 20.50 to Peterborough and 37576 was still on L8 and worked the 21.35 to Lowestoft. Of the B10Ms 20118 was back at Rowan Road, 20105 was in the bus station having been relieved by another vehicle on K2 while 20131 seemed to have joined 20126 in heading east. It is very rare for 20131 to venture east of Lynn these days. 20106/121/123 all remained spare at Rowan Road today with 20353 in bits at Vancouver Avenue. All in all, an eventful if rather sad day and may be not the best time for 20118 to be adorned with a new small rear advert proclaiming 'Enjoy Travelling - First'.