A 15-year-old girl and a coach driver have died after a school bus overturned on a motorway.
The coach struck a reservation on the M53 in Wirral, Merseyside, shortly after 08:00 BST.
Merseyside Police said the bus had been taking pupils to Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby and West Kirby Grammar School at the time.
The force confirmed 58 people were involved in the incident.
Joanne Clague, area director for North West Ambulance Service, told a news conference they had been taken from the scene to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
Merseyside Police said a 14-year-old boy was being treated in hospital with life-changing injuries. The force said 52 casualties were taken to a clearing centre in Wallasey, 39 to whom were released with no need for further treatment, while 13 were treated for minor injuries.
Emergency services including two air ambulances were called to the scene between junction four at Bebington and junction five in Hooton.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and North West Ambulance Service earlier declared major incidents, although Alder Hey later stood down.
The motorway has been closed to allow for an investigation into the circumstances of the crash and Highways England said it was expected to be shut for the rest of the day.
Ch Supt Robson said officers were providing specialist support to the families involved.
“We also know that other children from both schools were on buses travelling in convoy with the bus involved and they witnessed the incident and they too will be provided with specialist trauma support,” he added.
“I would also like to remind people that there is an investigation under way and would ask people to refrain from posting anything on social media that could hamper that investigation and not to speculate.”
Simone White, director for children, families and education at Wirral Council, said the authority’s focus was on “supporting the pupils, families, and wider school community”.
Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley said the community would come together to support the families.
“It’s an absolute tragedy what has happened,” he said.
Posting on X, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “My heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragic accident on the Wirral this morning. Unimaginably sad news.”
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan also offered her “deepest condolences” to the families of the two people killed in the “devastating” crash.
Merseyside Police said flight restrictions affecting drones and helicopters had been imposed around the area “to allow emergency services to respond to the crash”. A temporary airspace restriction has been in place since 12:55, meaning it is an offence for any aircraft to fly below 3,500ft above sea level in the area without permission.
The force also said a scheduled closure of the Birkenhead Tunnel from 21:00 had been cancelled and the tunnel would remain open as long as the motorway was closed.