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Sixteen hurt as Dartford Arriva bus ploughs into cars

media captionCCTV shows Dartford bus collision

A bus ploughed into dozens of cars stuck in traffic in a busy town centre, leaving a trail of devastation.

Sixteen people suffered minor injuries in the crash which damaged 25 vehicles in Hythe Street, Dartford at about 19:00 BST on Tuesday.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving and is in custody after being treated in hospital.

Police are appealing for witnesses who have not yet come forward, pictures and videos of the crash.

media captionEmergency services worked through the night to clear the vehicles and debris

The road reopened earlier, after emergency services worked through the night to clear the bus and cars.

Halal Uddin, who owns the nearby Indian takeaway Raja, said: "I was shocked, I thought somebody was shooting.

"I went inside my door. Then I thought, 'it's coming', so I looked outside and saw this bus [hitting] the cars, and heard people screaming."

image captionOfficers originally said 17 people had been injured but later amended that figure to 16

Police, fire and ambulance services were called to the aftermath and treated a number of "walking wounded" at the scene.

Officers originally said 17 people had been injured but later amended that figure to 16.

One person required oxygen and South East Coast Ambulance said one man was taken to hospital. He is not thought to have suffered serious injuries.

image captionGina Warwicker was in one of the cars shunted by the bus

Jeweller Gina Warwicker, who works close to the crash scene, was in one of the cars involved.

She said: "We heard this horrendous noise, and as I turned round, I could see a bus careering through the centre of the street, which was knocking all the cars sideways and literally just pushed all the cars on to one another.

"So the car behind us hit us from the back... You don't expect it to happen."

Julie Swift arrived at the scene just after the crash.

"I felt distraught and upset for all the people, but the police, fire and ambulances were all doing their jobs really well, they were brilliant, they got here quick, and it was amazing just how quickly it was all cleared up," she said.

image copyrightTony Brown
image captionThe bus crashed into 25 cars in Hythe Street, Dartford just before 19:00 BST on Tuesday
image copyrightTony Brown
image captionEmergency services were called to the aftermath and treated a number of "walking wounded"

Earlier a motorist discovered their car, which was involved in the crash and was not removed by emergency services, had been given a parking ticket.

A spokesman for Dartford Borough Council said: "When it became clear that the car was involved in the incident the ticket was cancelled immediately."

Tony Brown, 38, from Dartford, was going for a meal when the crash occurred.

"Judging from people on the scene, the bus simply ploughed through a number of cars that were stuck in traffic waiting at the traffic lights in Hythe Street," he said.

"Whether it was brake failure or the throttle jammed, he made it a good way through at least five rows of cars before coming to a stop.

"There were no visibly seriously injured people, but lots of people in shock and damaged cars."

Oliver Monahan, managing director of Arriva Kent and Surrey, said: "Arriva can confirm that a bus has collided with a number of vehicles on Hythe Street in Dartford on Tuesday evening... Our thoughts are very much with all those affected."

image copyrightTony Brown
image captionThe road was reopen again by Wednesday morning
image captionThe bus and many cars had to be towed from the scene

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