TWO cars and a bus have been involved in a crash on Forest Road, Newport.

At least 20 casualties have been reported and the crash has been declared a major incident

Police have cordoned off the scene, near the junctions with Betty Haunt Lane and Whitehouse Road, while emergency services get to work.

Multiple air ambulances have been drafted in from nearby counties to assist with patient transfer.

Firefighters from across the Island have been called to the scene to extricate trapped casualties.

St Mary's Hospital has brought in extra members of staff to deal with the influx of patients into accident and emergency.

Emergency services were called to the scene just before 1pm.

Police have closed Forest Road from Gunville Road. There is no access from Betty Haunt Lane/Whitehouse Road.

Police have asked that people avoid the area completely and respect the cordons and closures while the incident is being dealt with.

Southern Vectis has announced that the Route 7 via Shalfleet will be diverted via Calbourne and Elm Lane to Shalfleet in both directions.

Richard Tyldsley, Southern Vectis general manager, said: "We are aware of a serious collision today involving one of our route 7 buses.

"At this stage the full circumstances and details of any injuries are unclear and we are investigating."

UPDATE 15:19

An eye witness who was on the top deck of the bus has spoken to the County Press.

Alisha Smith, 23, on holiday from the mainland, said: "We were driving down the road. A mini pulled out from a side road.

"The driver did his best to avoid it, but we hit and then bounced on to hit another car following in a different direction.

"The next thing I know, I was on the floor and got up to see if everyone was ok.

"A few hurt and covered in blood, but no one severely injured at the top.

"By the time I made it downstairs, someone was with the driver and ambulance and police had been called.

"The police came and anyone who was not injured and could walk were helped off the bus to wait for police to take names and numbers.

"Injured people who could walk were eventually moved off the bus to wait.

"There was lots of police and paramedics helping those who were badly injured until more arrived and then they were checked over.

"It was very quickly responded to and dealt with very quickly.

"It was very frightening. I just hope everyone else is okay."

UPDATE 16:23

One person has died as a result of the crash, emergency services have confirmed.

UPDATE 16:35

Islanders are being urged to only attend accident and emergency at St Mary's Hospital if absolutely necessary.

A spokesperson for Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: "As a result of a serious road traffic accident involving a bus and two cars, Isle of Wight NHS Trust has declared a major incident and are requesting that the public only attend the Emergency Department if absolutely necessary."

UPDATE 18:22

Richard Tyldsley, Southern Vectis general manager, said: "There was a serious collision at 12.45pm today on Forest Road, Newport-bound. Early indications suggest a car pulled out in front of a route 7 bus and our driver was unable to avoid it.

"The bus was forced into the path of another car.

"At this stage the full circumstances of the incident are unclear but sadly I understand one of the cars’ occupants has died.

"This is very distressing for all concerned and I would like to pass our sincere condolences to their family and friends. 

"The extent of any further injuries is currently unclear. We know several people have been taken to hospital and our driver had to be cut from his cab. He also sustained injuries.

"We are monitoring the situation of all those involved very closely. 

"We are assisting the police as they carry out their enquiries, and are also conducting our own investigation."

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