A LONDON-bound bus packed with Brit tourists crashed into roadworks and flipped onto its side on a Belgian motorway early this morning – leaving 21 passengers injured.
The shocking smash happened at 2.28am on the busy E40 near the town of Aalter, which is located between the cities of Ghent and Bruges.
The bus was travelling from Amsterdam to the English capital when the horror accident happened, cops reported this morning.
The Belgian Federal Police said the Dutch bus driver crashed straight into a concrete structure on the tarmac which was part of ongoing roadworks.
It’s claimed the driver of the Ouibus coach, whose fleet is a subsidiary of French state railways SNCF, said he did not see the roadworks in time and hit them head-on.
One passenger – believed to be British – told how he woke to screams of terror on the bus.
The man told VRT News: “The only thing that woke me up was the screaming and the loud bang. When I heard that I thought ‘okay something is happening’.
“I could just see myself twisting and turning and people were screaming and shouting. We had to get out of the bus.”
Police spokesman Geert Allemeersch said: “According to the driver’s statement, his driving times and rest periods were in order.
“The Dutch driver felt fine before the accident. When he suddenly noticed the roadworks, it was too late.”
The tourist coach was carrying travellers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.
Two people had to be freed from the wreckage of the bus by fire crews.
According to police, 21 passengers received injuries. Two were seriously hurt including the driver and the others suffered cuts and bruises and were taken to hospitals in Ghent, Tielt and Deinze.
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The Belgian authorities say they are not yet able to comment on the identities of those injured.
Those deemed fit to travel were brought to a sports hall in Aalter, where they were helped by staff of the French bus company and put on a replacement service.
The damaged vehicle was cleared from the road shortly before 6am this morning. The E40 still has one of its lanes blocked in the direction of the Belgian coast.