By Steve Hopkins
At least 10 people have died and more than 20 others are in hospital after a wedding bus crash in Australia.
The passengers were returning from a wedding at a winery in Australia’s Hunter Valley on 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 were airlifted from the scene according to NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner, Tracy Chapman.
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 coming off a highway, at 11.30 pm local time.
It is thought the guests were travelling to Singleton “presumably for their accommodation”, Chapman said.
A guest at the wedding told 7News that the day had been a “fairy tale” until news of the accident broke.
The 58-year-old driver has been arrested.
A young couple who said "I do" hours before a fatal bus crash involving their wedding guests have been identified.https://t.co/kAH8D6ow3y
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) June 12, 2023
Chapman said there was “sufficient information” to charge the coach driver, who was also sent to the 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.”