by Trevor Connell at AIME
The mood at the AIME welcome lunch hosted by Tourism Australia and the MCEC was somewhat muted today as hosted delegates shared the online reporting of what at first appeared to be a horrific bus crash.
The bus was one of many ferrying interstate and overseas delegates around Melbourne to showcase the city’s venues and attractions.
Melbourne Convention Bureau confirmed that the vehicle was carrying 15 passengers, including hosted buyers and a Melbourne Convention Bureau staff member, when it collided with a bridge at Montague Street.
11 passengers have been taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries and for observation. The driver of the bus also suffered lacerations from the collision and has also been taken to hospital for treatment.
Victorian emergency services responded to the incident immediately with all passengers safely removed from the bus within an hour.
Karen Bolinger, MCB CEO said, “Our primary concern is the wellbeing of the hosted buyers and staff involved and counselling services will be offered for all passengers, as well as guests of AIME who are affected by the incident.
“We will be monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis to ensure all passengers are provided with as much a support as they need.”
The Age has reported that the light rail overpass that the bus struck is somewhat notorious with numerous reports of trucks not clearing the structure. In 2006, a bus carrying Commonwealth Games volunteers crashed into the same light-rail bridge over Montague Street. No one was seriously injured in that crash.