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A wedding bus has killed at least 10 people and left 25 others in hospital in Australia’s wine country. The passengers were returning from a wedding at a winery in the popular Hunter Valley wine tourism destination on Sunday night when their tour bus overturned.The Police arrested the bus driver who has now been held responsible for the deaths. Ten counts of dangerous driving resulting in death have been charged on the driver who is now 58 years old.
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The authorities have stated that the process of identifying the deceased individuals is still ongoing. However, the remaining five were not reported on the bus. The Chief of Police Karen Webb said the crash scene “remains an active crime scene.” “We have crime scene doctors, we have accident investigation units, we have EMS at the scene,” he added.
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The accident happened around 11:30 p.m. local time. The Police have reported that the area where the accident took place was facing heavy fog at the time. The bus overturned at a roundabout on the highway. According to the authorities, the car has now been pulled into an upright position.
It is believed now that the wedding guests were en route to Singleton for accommodation purposes as said my acting sergeant assistant commissioner Tracy Chapman of the New South Wales Police Department. He added that two survivors were airlifted from the crash. Local media reports that at least one of them is still in critical condition.
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The Prime Minister of Australia Mr Anthony Albaneese conveyed his grief and ensured support for the families of those affected. He said that the turn of events from a day supposed to be of great joy to one of great sadness and loss of life was extremely unfortunate.”People hire buses for weddings to keep their guests safe and that just adds to the incomprehensible nature of this tragedy,” he told a news conference in Canberra. The Prime Minister said that even though most of the injured individuals were taken to Sydney, some of the injured passengers remained at John Hunter Hospital.
The Premier of New South Wales Mr Chris Minns also commented on the unfortunate incident. He said that it was breathtaking to know about such a large loss of life. He also added of the most sorrowful circumstances when a day that should be filled with life and joy was turned into one of mourning and sorrow.It’s really cruel that a happy day ends with such a devastating loss and our prayers are with those injured in the mishap, he said.
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The Hunter Valley in the state of New South Wales is known for its vineyards and native bush, making it a popular destination for wine lovers and group tours or parties.One of the wedding guests said the day was supposed to be a fairy tale come true and yet the heartbreaking news of the crash has everyone deep in sorrow. “We all started to panic,” he told 7 News.
According to the police, they are still trying to identify the victims of the accident and contact their relatives, friends and family. A statement issued by Cessnock Police on the issue urged all family and friends of the people that were on the crashed bus to contact them as soon as possible.