Twenty-one children in horror crash
Malaysian Consulate vehicles leave Swan Districts Hospital. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Children visiting Australia as part of an environmental group have been rushed to hospital after an horrific bus crash east of Perth last night.

Emergency crews were called to the scene about 8pm after the bus veered off Toodyay Road and into a ditch about 2km west of Gidgegannup.

The accident took place in a 100km/h zone and the bus hit a speed-limit sign before coming to rest about 6m off the road.

Three people were taken to hospital in an ambulance under priority but none of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening.

The bus had been heading to popular recreational spot Lake Leschenaultia.

Millennium Kids chair Rachel Cochrane said the students were participating in a River Park Forum organised by the Swan River Trust.

Ms Cochrane said she and other officials from the organisation were quick to inform the Malaysian and Indonesian consulates after the crash occurred.

“I was at RPH until about 2am this morning and we had people at Swan Districts and Princess Margaret,” she said.

“The most important thing is that everyone is stable.”

The bus was carrying 14 children, 9 adults and the driver.

Six children and three adults were taken to Swan Districts Hospital. They have since been released and taken back to the Malaysian Consulate.

Nine children were taken to Princess Margaret Hospital.

Two were admitted and are in a stable condition while the remainder were discharged.

Four adults are being treated in Royal Perth Hospital while a fifth has been discharged.

Ms Cochrane said two of the adults on the bus suffered broken bones and were taken to RPH where they were being kept for observation, while another had been released.

“Our officials liaised with police to provide participant information for all international representatives attending the Forum,” she said.

“We’re responsible for the day part of the conference, so the transport had been organised by the Malaysian group.

“We will continue to support all involved.”

The injured students and their minders are members of E-ija and Tunas Indonesia, youth environmental groups based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Surabaya, Indonesia.

There were three adults on the bus, including the 51-year-old driver from Ballajura who is understood to have been the only WA resident aboard.

The rescue helicopter was sent to the scene but could not land because of fog.

Major crash officers ruled out alcohol as a contributing factor but said speed and fog could have played a role in the crash.

They had also not ruled out an animal running on to the road as a factor.

"The bus was heading to Lake Leschenaultia and for some reason has veered off the road," Sgt John Smith said.

"All persons have been taken to hospital, including Princess Margaret, Royal Perth and Swan District. At this stage we've been told from the triage that none of the injuries are deemed life-threatening.

"The vehicle will be taken for examination."

Police said they would speak to the driver after he recovered from his injuries.

Emergency crews from Mundaring, Ellenbrook, Wundowie, Kalamunda, Midland and Perth attended the scene.

The West Australian

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