Five teenagers die in bus crash

By Deborah Condon

Three investigations have begun, including one by the Health and Safety Authority, into the bus crash in Meath, which claimed the lives of five teenage girls on Monday.

Bus Eireann and the Gardai are also carrying out their own investigations.

The bus had been carrying around 50 school children from a number of secondary schools in the area. Four of the victims were from the Loreto Convent School in Navan, while the fifth victim was from Beaufort College, Navan.

They have been named as Lisa Callan (15), Claire McCluskey (18), Deirdre Scanlon (17) - all from the Beauparc area of Navan - as well as Amy McCabe (15) from Hayestown, Navan and Sinead Ledwidge (15) from Senchalstown, Navan.

A further 22 students remain in hospital. While six of these were in a critical condition last night, all are stable now.

The crash happened between Navan and Kentstown at around 4.20pm. Two other cars were also involved however it is still unclear how the accident happened. Gardai are hoping to speak to the drivers of all three vehicles today.

Fourteen ambulances and a number of fire brigades attended the scene. Helicopters also flew in medical staff from other regions. All of the dead and injured were brought to Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Bus Eireann has confirmed that there were no seatbelts on the bus.

In a statement following the accident, Health Minister, Mary Harney, expressed her shock on hearing about the accident and offered her deepest condolences to the families of those who have died.

She also expressed her appreciation for the 'speedy and effective response' of the hospitals and emergency services involved.

"Every medical facility and all appropriate care and counselling services required are being made available", Ms Harney added.

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