Girl dies in A38 Birmingham school trip crash

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Media captionThe crash involved the minibus going on the school trip and a city council bin lorry

A 14-year-old girl has died in a crash involving a minibus full of pupils going on a school art trip.

Emergency services were called to the crash between the minibus and a bin lorry on the A38 in Castle Vale, Birmingham at 09:00 BST on Friday.

Another girl was taken to hospital and 24 people, including the lorry driver, were treated at the scene.

The pupils were all from John Taylor High School in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire.

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The girl died at the crash scene, the ambulance service said.

West Midlands Police said three teachers and a further 20 pupils were on the minibus.

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The teenager who suffered minor injuries was taken to Heartlands Hospital.

Machine worker Stephen Jones, 38, who works nearby, said: "I heard a big bang at 9am this morning - a massive bang.

"I came over and had a look and the police were here with the sirens and they'd shut it all.

"I saw the coroner's ambulance and I heard a girl had passed away."

He added: "There are a lot of accidents here all the time, it's a busy road."

Image caption Police were in place at the school gates on Friday

In a letter to parents, school principal Mike Donoghue said pupils would be able to receive support from teachers and other staff.

He said: "Your child, who has brought this letter home today, has been told about this and they may well be very upset by this sad event.

"We therefore felt it was important you know what has happened and what we are are doing in school to support your child."

"Our thoughts, at this very tragic and sad time, are with the family, their friends and the pupils and staff involved," the letter added.

The school later tweeted its thanks for support during the "desperately sad time".

The school earlier said some of its Year 9 and 12 pupils had been on an art trip when the crash happened.

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In a statement, Birmingham City Council confirmed the bin lorry was one of its fleet and said it was "deeply saddened" about what had happened.

"As a city council trade waste vehicle was involved in the incident we will be fully co-operating with all investigations," it said.

No arrests have been made, however, police said that both drivers were assisting with the "detailed and thorough" investigation.

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Media captionPolice tests at Birmingham crash site after girl 14, dies

Asked by reporters if the pupils were wearing seatbelts, he replied: "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 said he would not speculate on the cause of the collision.

Forensic experts were at the scene on Friday afternoon.

From the roadside, damage to the bin lorry's front end was visible and the rear right-hand portion of the minibus had been covered over with a green tarpaulin.

Officers were also carrying out skid tests and taking distance markings on the dual carriageway.

The school is a specialist science and leadership academy and has 1,500 pupils.

The calendar on the school's website suggests a trip had been planned for Friday to Birmingham's Botanical Gardens and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

It also shows the school's Year 11 prom was due to be held on Friday night.

It is located in Barton-under-Needwood, close to Burton-upon-Trent and Lichfield.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, whose constituency includes the school, tweeted he was "heartbroken" to hear about the girl's death.

Councillor John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said he was "shocked and saddened by the tragic incident".

West Midlands Police's Force Contact team earlier tweeted that the road was expected to be closed for a "considerable time".

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