Five children, four adults hurt in crash near Rhoose school
Five children and four adults have been taken to hospital after a serious car crash outside a school in south Wales.
Emergency services were called to Fontygary Road, Rhoose near Rhws Primary school at 08:50 BST after a car overturned.
One of the children, a nine-year-old girl, is being treated for head injuries in paediatric intensive care.
The 61-year-old male driver of the car, named locally as Robert Bell, is assisting police with inquiries.
Four girls and a boy aged between five and 10 years old were hurt, said South Wales Police's Ch Supt Joe Reddy.
He said the incident was not being treated as a deliberate act and they are speaking to the driver, who was also hurt.
The other adults injured were school lollipop lady Karin Williams and two other women.
"Their conditions are changing as the day progresses but one girl is in intensive care and two women are being treated broken bones and fractures," Ch Supt Reddy added.
A major incident response got under way shortly after the incident which unfolded as the school run was at its busiest at 0850 BST.
Up to 30 officers attended as well as teams of paramedics and fire crews.
"It was a very distressing scene for the community and members of the emergency services who attended before the start of the school day," said Ch Supt Reddy.
He said a number of children at the scene were treated for shock as well as several members of the public.
Resident Glenys Watson told how the daily school run descended into what looked like "a war zone".
"Parents heard the bang and thought it was a gun," she said. "They didn't know what happened."
"A few of the mums are turning up and taking their children home. They are all traumatised."
Another resident told BBC News she heard reports of a dark car swerving before hitting a bollard and "going up in the air".
"Apparently the driver had a coughing fit and slammed on the accelerator instead of the brake," she said.
"The lollipop lady was escorting a number of kids across the road at the time."
An eye witness who called emergency services said: "I was walking my dog when I turned a corner and saw a car in mid air.
"The road was chock-a-block with kids arriving for school - there was a huge crash and loads of screaming.
"Children were lying injured in the road and parents and passers by were running to them to help.
"I called the emergency services and there were off-duty paramedics and parents assisting the injured.
"The lollipop lady was trapped... all I could see was her jacket from under the car.
"Children who saw it were ushered into the school and they are being kept inside while the rescue operation was going on."
The lollipop lady's broken stick was lying on the road next to the overturned Audi Cabriolet.
The air ambulance, three rapid response vehicles and five emergency ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed six patients had been taken by ambulance to University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff.
Four of them were children with head or abdomen injuries and fractures, and two were adults with fractures.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said on Thursday evening a nine-year-old girl remained in a serious condition in intensive care.
Dr George Findlay, clinical board director for children and women, said: "The three other children being treated at UHW are in a stable condition and are being cared for on paediatric wards.
"One adult has been discharged from our care whilst another is still being treated for her serious injuries.
"Staff are working closely with patients and families to offer the best care and support that we can."
Another two adults and a child, all with minor injuries, were taken to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend by ambulance.
Councillor Chris Elmore, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, at the Vale of Glamorgan council praised the actions of the acting head teacher Jan Morgan and said relief crossing patrols would be in place for the rest of the week.
Educational psychologists have been sent to the school to offer support to the children.
Following the incident, First Minister Carwyn Jones tweeted: "I am very concerned to hear about this morning's incident in Rhoose and I am being kept fully informed of developments. Clearly, our thoughts are with those involved."
Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said it was a "terrible incident".
"My heart goes out to those affected. I am liaising with police over communication and support," he said.
Anyone who witnessed the collision or who gave assistance following the collision is asked to contact the South Wales Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101.
Rhoose is a village in the Vale of Glamorgan, about 15 miles outside Cardiff. It is situated between the towns of Barry and Llantwit Major.