Vanuatu bus crash: seventh injured tourist arrives in Brisbane, boy remains critical in hospital

Updated June 22, 2016 16:14:14

Vanuatu Bus Crash: Seventh Injured Tourist Arrives In Brisbane, Boy Remains Critical In Hospital Photo: Emergency services assist passengers involved in the bus crash. (Facebook: Vanuatu Daily Post/ Glenda S.Willie)1 Related Story: Australians airlifted after fatal Vanuatu bus crash2 Map: Brisbane 40003

A seventh Australian injured in a bus crash in Vanuatu capital has been flown to Brisbane for treatment, but an 11-year-old Australian boy who was critically injured remains in hospital in Noumea.

Key points:

  • Six of 10 injured Australians already flown to Brisbane for hospital treatment
  • Critically ill boy remains in hospital in Noumea with mother and sibling
  • Police in Vanuatu charge bus driver with one count of reckless driving causing death

A P&O spokesman said the boy’s condition had improved and he was no longer listed as critical and had been joined by his mother and brother. He sustained a head injury in the crash. Three locals died and 10 Australian tourists were injured when a tour bus collided head on with another bus in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila4 on Monday night.

There were 12 Australian tourists on the bus and seven of those injured are now being treated in Brisbane. A woman, aged in her 70s, arrived in Brisbane on Wednesday afternoon and has been transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Meanwhile, police in Vanuatu have charged a bus driver with one count of reckless driving causing death.

He will be taken in custody upon his release from hospital. The group of Australians was from a P&O cruise ship and had been visiting Vanuatu on a shore trip when the accident happened. P&O spokesman David Jones said the 11-year-old boy was the worst injured, having suffered head injuries, and he remained in hospital along with his mother and a sibling.

“We hope to get more positive news today the news yesterday was encouraging so let’s hope that positive story continues,” Mr Jones said.

Overnight a fourth medical air ambulance touched down in Brisbane with a badly injured 77-year-old man on board. The man had broken bones but was in good spirits.

Vanuatu Bus Crash: Seventh Injured Tourist Arrives In Brisbane, Boy Remains Critical In Hospital Photo: A plane carrying an injured Australian tourist arrives at Brisbane Airport on Tuesday. (AAP: Dan Peled)5

Mr Jones said the tour bus company was accredited and it was “an extremely unusual situation”.

“We have been cruising to Vanuatu since the mid-1970s and no-one can recall anything of this magnitude.”

Mr Jones said another patient would arrive in Brisbane this afternoon.

“This was a huge effort by our logistics people we had to arrange that air ambulance transport really literally out of thin air,” he said. A four-year-old girl with fractures was also among the injured and she is being treated at a hospital in Brisbane.

At the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital a couple aged in their 70s are being treated for broken bones. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Federal Government was providing ongoing consular support to victims and their families. With five air ambulances required to fly the injured travellers home, she also urged people to ensure they have insurance.

“This is a very important point if you can’t afford travel insurance you really cannot afford to travel overseas, so it is as fundamental as taking out insurance,” she said.

P&O’s Pacific Dawn ship, with almost 2,000 passengers on board, had now resumed sailing and is due back in Brisbane on Saturday.

Vanuatu Bus Crash: Seventh Injured Tourist Arrives In Brisbane, Boy Remains Critical In Hospital Photo: P&O said it had made contact with the injured families and members of Ni Van community. (Vanuatu Daily Post: Glenda S Willie)6

Topics: emergency-incidents, road, travel-and-tourism, brisbane-4000, qld, vanuatu, pacific78910111213

First posted June 22, 2016 09:54:37

References

  1. ^ Photo: Emergency services assist passengers involved in the bus crash. (Facebook: Vanuatu Daily Post/ Glenda S.Willie) (www.abc.net.au)
  2. ^ Related Story: Australians airlifted after fatal Vanuatu bus crash (www.abc.net.au)
  3. ^ Map: Brisbane 4000 (maps.google.com)
  4. ^ collided head on with another bus in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila (www.abc.net.au)
  5. ^ Photo: A plane carrying an injured Australian tourist arrives at Brisbane Airport on Tuesday. (AAP: Dan Peled) (www.abc.net.au)
  6. ^ Photo: P&O said it had made contact with the injured families and members of Ni Van community. (Vanuatu Daily Post: Glenda S Willie) (www.abc.net.au)
  7. ^ emergency-incidents (www.abc.net.au)
  8. ^ road (www.abc.net.au)
  9. ^ travel-and-tourism (www.abc.net.au)
  10. ^ brisbane-4000 (www.abc.net.au)
  11. ^ qld (www.abc.net.au)
  12. ^ vanuatu (www.abc.net.au)
  13. ^ pacific (www.abc.net.au)

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