A COACH retuning from the Bestival event has crashed on the A3 in Surrey, leaving three people dead and 50 injured.
The vehicle veered off the road and hit a tree on an embankment of the northwood side of the A3 near Hindhead.
The accident happened at 11.50pm last night (Monday, September 3) between the northern end of the Hindhead tunnel and the exit for Thursley.
Fire crews from Haslemere have been assisting on the scene since 3am this morning.
The bus was returning to Merseyside from the Isle of Wight following the music festival when the accident occurred.
A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust said: “A total of 50 patients, some of whom have serious injuries, have been taken to hospitals across the region.”
Inspector Richard Mallett, said the coach had been full and 53 passengers were thought to have been on board.
“We are dealing with a major incident, a tragic major incident, the coach has gone off the road and had a significant impact with a tree, I think that is the best way to describe it.
“The bodies are still trapped inside the vehicle. As you can imagine it is a very delicate operation to remove them.
“With all due respect to them, we need to get them out properly.”
He added: “We are confident that there is no-one left in the vehicle alive.”
Police said a passenger on the coach operated by Merseypride Travel was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with life-changing injuries.
Other passengers, some who have serious injuries, have been taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, St George’s Hospital in Tooting, King’s College Hospital in London, Frimley Park Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
Police are working with their colleagues on Merseyside and the coach company to identify the passengers and notify relatives.
No other vehicles are believed to have been involved and the northbound carriageway is expected to remain closed until 4pm.
Concerned relatives have been advised to contact the crash hotline on 0800 056 0154.