THIS morning's school bus crash on a road in Co. Limerick has left 24 children and two adults in hospital, it has now been confirmed.
The incident occurred at around 8.30am on the R513 outside the village of Caherconlish, and resulted in the bus entering a ditch and tipping over onto its left side.
A car was also involved in the collision, with its driver having to be cut free from the wreckage of their vehicle by emergency personnel.
Limerick Fire and Rescue service has confirmed that all of the pupils who were on board the bus have been accounted for.
A fleet of some 15 ambulances rushed 24 students and two adults to University Hospital Limerick for treatment, they added.
A number have since been discharged from hospital.
An air ambulance, Medivac 112, also attended the scene but stood down as no one sustained life-threatening injuries in the crash.
Major operation after school bus and two cars collide R518 Caherline #Limerick. 24 teenagers bus driver and one car driver taken to hospital. Many walking wounded. No life threatening injuries. @3NewsIreland pic.twitter.com/yGaeDFmB4Y
— Eric Clarke (@ericgclarke) February 7, 2018
The school bus involved is sub-contracted by Bus Éireann and was transporting students to the local John the Baptist Community School at the time.
Bus Éireann said the 57-seater bus had approximately 46 students on board at the time of the crash.
The company said it is assisting the relevant authorities with their investigations into the incident.
The drivers of both vehicles were among the injured but neither are thought to be in a serious condition.
University Hospital Limerick said seven people were rushed to the hospital by ambulance while the nineteen other patients were brought by intermediate care vehicles and a minibus.
It has urged members of public not to attend the hospital's emergency department unless absolutely necessary.
The scene of the incident on the R513 has been preserved to allow a technical and forensic examination by gardaí.