6 September 2022

Injured passengers heading home after terrifying school bus accident near Perisher

| Katrina Condie
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People being winched

Passengers were lifted up the five-metre embankment by rescue crews using a ladder slide. Photo: NSWFR.

Four school children and three adults have been released from hospital following a frightening bus accident in the Snowy Mountains late yesterday (Monday, 5 September 2022).

The busload of 36 year six students and five staff members from Gunnedah South Public School was returning from the snowfields when the vehicle left the road and careered down a five-metre embankment on Kosciusko Road near Perisher Valley at around 5:25 pm.

Monaro Police and eight ambulances attended the accident scene, between Perisher and Jindabyne, and seven people were taken to hospital with a range of minor injuries.

Member for Monaro Nichole Overall said she received a direct message about the bus incident near Perisher last night and that the four children and three staff with minor injuries all left hospital, and were heading home today (Tuesday).

“I was also asked to pass on a huge thanks to our local emergency services responders as ‘their help was amazing’,” she said on a Facebook post.

Fire and Rescue NSW joined NSW Ambulance, NSW Police, NSW RFS and NSW SES in launching a significant emergency response, using a ladder slide and ‘hand over hand’ techniques to pull the driver and passengers up the steep incline.

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FRNSW helped establish a triage system to prioritise those needing treatment on-site or in hospital and replacement bus was arranged to quickly remove the remaining people from the harsh conditions including sub-zero temperatures and light snowfalls.

Kosciuszko Road was closed in both directions while the accident scene was cleared.

Emergency teams are today (Tuesday) working to salvage the school bus which remained at the scene overnight.

Counselling is in place to support students and staff. All students have been in touch with their parents and will return to Gunnedah today (Tuesday).

Officers from Monaro Police District have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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