A man has died and 10 others seriously injured following a bus rollover near Airlie Beach in Queensland’s Whitsundays.
Queensland Police confirmed a 19-year-old Proserpine man was killed, while, a 17-year-old man remained in a critical condition in Proserpine Hospital.
It was reported that a man has had his arm amputated.
The bus was travelling from Airlie Beach to Proserpine on Shute Harbour Road in Cannon Valley when it left the road and crashed into a ditch about 1pm.
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) said 13 people, including a six-month-old child, were injured and taken to hospital – 11 to Proserpine Hospital and two to Mackay Base Hospital.
Queensland Health said Townsville Hospital was on standby to accept patients if needed.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has activated the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre in response to the crash.
In tweets, the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) said among those injured was a 29-year-old woman with a significant arm injury and a man with a head injury.
A 79-year-old woman suffered shoulder and back pain, a 30-year-old man suffered arm and back injuries and a 46-year-old female had hurt her ribs.
Up to nine ambulance crews attended the scene, as well as two rescue helicopters.
‘We ran around to the front and … kicked the windscreen in’
Jake Coyne was with two friends in a car behind the bus and about to turn off onto Strathdickie Road when they saw the vehicle overturn.
“Upon arrival there was one person laying on the grass having a fit from a big impact,” he said.
“We ran around to the front were I met the fella in the car in front and we proceeded to kick the windscreen in.
“One lady had her arm trapped under the bus and there was another trapped at the rear.
“We pulled the driver out and somebody yelled there was an infant onboard so we made an area with shade for a tarp and proceeded to pull people from wreckage and sat them down in shade.”
QPS said Shute Harbour Road was closed between Gregory-Cannon Valley Road and Hamilton Plains.
The cause of the crash is not yet known.