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Staffordshire girl dies as minibus hits bin lorry

A 14-year-old girl has been killed after a minibus carrying pupils from a high school near Burton-on-Trent collided with a bin lorry.

Twenty-one pupils from Year 9 and Year 12 at John Taylor High School in Barton-under-Needwood were on an art trip with three teachers when the accident happened on the A38 Kingsbury Road in Castle Vale this morning.

"One of whom, a teenage girl, had suffered serious injuries in the collision and unfortunately it immediately became apparent that nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene," a West Midland Ambulance Service spokesman said.

One pupil was taken to hospital with "superficial injuries", while several others were treated at the scene.

Superintendent Dean Hatton, head of the Central Motorway Police Group, said: "This is a tragic incident which has resulted in the death of a pupil from the John Taylor High School in Barton-under-Needwood.

"The family of the teenage girl has been informed and they are being supported by officers from our family liaison unit.

Asked at a news conference if the pupils were wearing seatbelts, Supt Hatton said: "That will be part of our investigation and, at the moment, I can't confirm either way whether or not pupils were wearing seatbelts or otherwise."

He added that he would not speculate on the cause of the collision.

No arrests have been made and both drivers are assisting the police with the investigation.

Officers have been carrying out skid tests and taking distance markings on the dual carriageway.

Alex Jeffers, 19, said he heard a loud bang as he was crossing the road.

"I turned around and I saw a lot of dust go up in the air and a lot of glass shattered and metal from the lorry on the roadway by the bus stop," he told the Birmingham Mail.

"Both the lorry and the minibus came to a stop. I went over to the minibus to see if there was anything I could do."

Stephen Jones, 38, said: "There are a lot of accidents here all the time, it's a busy road."

Police urged people to avoid the area, which is a busy commuter route into Birmingham.

In a statement, the school said: "We are working to support those directly affected. More information will be provided via the school website."

The children were reportedly on their way to Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Local MP Jack Dromey said: "A terrible tragedy with the death of a 14-year-old girl. My thoughts are with her family. The police are rightly investigating what happened."

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