5.25pm – It has not been confirmed that a total of 36 patients presented to the Emergency Department at UHL today in connection with the bus crash.
Of these, four have now been admitted and the remainder have been discharged. Operations at UHL have returned to normal.”
4.45pm – Most of those transported to hospital have now been discharged.
A total of 32 patients attended the Emergency Department in connection with the road traffic collision outside Caherconlish on Wednesday morning. Seven patients continue to be assessed. No patients have been admitted to date. No life-threatening injuries were sustained as a result of this incident. Injuries sustained in the main consisted of musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries but also included a small number of fractures.
Children and their families were also offered counselling while in hospital and follow-up psychiatric support is being arranged through their school.
The hospital incident group formed in response to this incident has been stood down and operations have returned to normal.
Most patients now discharged following this morning's bus crash. Hospital Incident Group stood down and operations back to normal. Thanks @AmbulanceNAS @LimerickFire @LimerickCouncil @GardaTraffic and Mid West Community Healthcare for effective response #limerickworkingtogether
— UL Hospitals (@ULHospitals) February 7, 2018
Earlier: The HSE has asked the public not to attend the A&E department at University Hospital Limerick while staff deal with a major incident in Co Limerick.
Eighteen teenagers and two adults have been hospitalised following a crash involving a school bus and at least one car. The collision occurred at around 8.30am on the R513 between Caherconlish and Herbertstown.
The incident prompted a major response from An Garda, National Ambulance Service (EAS), Limerick City and County Fire and Rescue Service and the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance. It’s understood that no casualty was airlifted to hospital.
There were 46 students on board the bus and they had evacuated the bus before emergency services arrived. The bus driver and female driver of the car were left trapped in their vehicles however and had to be freed by fire crews.
The students made their way across a field to a former petrol station where they took shelter under a canopy. It was here that they were assessed by paramedics.
While casualties are being treated, the HSE has asked the public to avoid UHL and to contact their GP in the first instance.
Emergency Department at UHL dealing with casualties arising from bus crash. Relatives being received in ED waiting area. Public asked to consider all other care options before attending ED. Those who are seriously unwell will continue to be prioritised. https://t.co/dCpuHmz5o3
— UL Hospitals (@ULHospitals) February 7, 2018
A spokesman for the HSE has said that UHL has established an incident group in response to a road traffic collision involving a schoolbus in County Limerick this morning.
“As of 9.30am the resuscitation and paediatric areas of the Emergency Department had been cleared in anticipation of casualties. Twenty casualties, 18 minors and two adults, were on their way from the scene of the accident near Caherconlish. Seven casualties were being transported by emergency ambulances and those with less severe injuries are being transported on intermediate care vehicles and a minibus,” the spokesman said.
“Casualties will be retriaged on arrival at the Emergency Department. Additional surgical teams and nursing staff, including paediatric and trauma nurses, have been assigned to the ED in anticipation of trauma-type injuries. Both the emergency theatre and trauma theatre are also on standby,” the HSE added.
“While the incident is ongoing members of the public are urged not to attend the Emergency Department for unless absolutely necessary and to visit their GP in the first instance or the Injury Units in St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals for appropriate injuries. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John’s Hospital.
Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required. However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority,” the HSE said.
Traffic Alert Limerick – Diversions are currently in place on the R513 between Caherconlish & Herbertstown due to a collision. Gardaí & Emergency Services are at the scene.
— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) February 7, 2018
The bus involved in the incident was sub-contracted to operate one of Bus Éireann’s school transport services.
A spokeswoman said: “The accident occurred at Connolly’s Cross near Ballyneety in Limerick as the 57 seater bus was travelling to John the Baptist Community School in Hospital, Limerick. There were approximately 46 students on board at the time.”
“Bus Éireann are currently assisting the relevant authorities with their investigations into the incident. Our investigation is ongoing and we cannot comment further at this time.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the emergency services for their rapid response, and we will continue to liaise with the school and parents of the injured students,” the company added.