Dunbar bus crash: Witnesses tell of collision

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WITNESSES have told how a bus careering into a house sounded like a “clap of thunder” had struck.

Seven people were taken to hospital after the single-decker ploughed into a cottage following a collision with a car in Dunbar.

Emergency services on the scene today. Pic: Jane Barlow

Emergency services on the scene today. Pic: Jane Barlow

Police were today continuing their investigation into the crash, as local residents called for action to improve safety on the road and said it had been “an accident waiting to happen.”

The bus – a number 120 Eve’s Coaches service travelling to North Berwick – was carrying between 15 and 18 passengers at the time of the crash.

The 40-year-old bus driver had to be cut free by firefighters, while the driver of a Vauxhall Antara and a passenger were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with suspected chest injuries. It is understood all three were still being treated in hospital today.

Bob Darling, 63, was working in the shop at nearby Winterfield Golf Club when he heard the impact.

The scene of the accident today. Pic: Jen Lavery

The scene of the accident today. Pic: Jen Lavery

He said: “I heard this almighty bang, it was like a clap of thunder but there was no rain. A crash didn’t enter my mind but then five minutes later I heard all the sirens.

“Some of the boys started coming into the club saying there had been a bad accident. From what I’ve seen, it’s lucky people weren’t more badly hurt.”

As news of yesterday’s crash quickly spread through the town, two nurses from nearby Belhaven Hospital rushed to the scene.

Dog walker John Gardiner also witnessed the devastation as he returned home after a walk. The 46-year-old feared there had been fatalities. The bus had gone right into the house. It was a real mess,” he said. “There must have been at least six or seven fire engines there and a couple of ambulances by the time I got there. It wasn’t a nice thing to see at all.

“We just have to be thankful that nobody has been badly hurt, that’s the main thing.”

The house – at the junction of Edinburgh Road, Shore Road and Beveridge Row – is being renovated and was empty at the time.

Daniel McDuff, 55, who had to stop his car as he approached the scene, said: “It had a gaping hole the size of a football goal from where the bus had gone in.”

One resident said the junction had been “an accident waiting to happen”.

Local Conservative councillor Michael Veitch added: “Obviously it’s far too early to say what the circumstances were. However, visibility is poor for vehicles coming out from Shore Road or Beveridge Row.”