An out-of-control bus that smashed into 25 vehicles as it careered through a busy town centre was not travelling on its normal route, it has emerged.

The single-decker left a trail of destruction as it ploughed into parked vehicles and motorists waiting at traffic lights in Dartford, Kent.

Stunned shoppers told how cars flew ‘like dominos’ as a video showed the moment it sped along Hythe Street.

Sixteen people were injured as passers-by watched in horror when the No.480 bus to Gravesend sped out of control, with some fearing they were witnessing a terror attack.

The driver of the bus was arrested for careless driving and is currently in hospital, as police wait to question him.

Stunned shoppers told how cars flew 'like dominos' as a video showed the moment it sped along Hythe Street

Stunned shoppers told how cars flew ‘like dominos’ as a video showed the moment it sped along Hythe Street

Sixteen people were injured as passers-by watched in horror when the No.480 bus to Gravesend sped out of control, with some fearing they were witnessing a terror attack

Sixteen people were injured as passers-by watched in horror when the No.480 bus to Gravesend sped out of control, with some fearing they were witnessing a terror attack

Sixteen people were injured as passers-by watched in horror when the No.480 bus to Gravesend sped out of control, with some fearing they were witnessing a terror attack

Pictured: Map of where the out-of-control bus smashed into 25 vehicles in Dartford, Kent 

Pictured: Map of where the out-of-control bus smashed into 25 vehicles in Dartford, Kent 

Pictured: Map of where the out-of-control bus smashed into 25 vehicles in Dartford, Kent 

Police are now waiting to speak to the driver amid claims the incident happened on a road not on its usual route.

The driver’s condition is not thought to be serious. It is understood that some sort of medical incident cannot be ruled out at this stage.

One bus driver who works for a different company said that Hythe Street was not on the 480’s route.

Shopkeepers on the street have been told he had more than 20 years’ experience as a bus driver.

Shop worker Tharun Thayaparan, 20, raced outside when he heard a loud bang on Tuesday evening.

The 480 bus service to Gravesend crashed into at least 25 cars in Dartford town centre

The 480 bus service to Gravesend crashed into at least 25 cars in Dartford town centre

The 480 bus service to Gravesend crashed into at least 25 cars in Dartford town centre

The bus left behind a line of cars damaged with wheels and wings ripped off the vehicles 

The bus left behind a line of cars damaged with wheels and wings ripped off the vehicles 

The bus left behind a line of cars damaged with wheels and wings ripped off the vehicles 

He said: ‘It was manic. I saw the bus ploughing through cars. It was like dominos.

‘I saw a woman jump out of the boot of the car as both sides were smashed and that was the only way to get out.

‘A little girl’s lip was cut open. Everyone was screaming and shouting.

‘The driver was in total shock. The car outside was pushed onto the pavement.

‘I have never seen something like that. People we’re arguing with the driver. Shouting at him, ‘Look what you have done. You have hurt people.’

‘It was chaos.’

The bus damaged cars on both sides of the road smashing windscreens and body panels

The bus damaged cars on both sides of the road smashing windscreens and body panels

The bus damaged cars on both sides of the road smashing windscreens and body panels

It is understood the bus turned into a road which was not normally part of its route 

It is understood the bus turned into a road which was not normally part of its route 

It is understood the bus turned into a road which was not normally part of its route 

Several cars have suffered major damage with wheels ripped off from their axles

Several cars have suffered major damage with wheels ripped off from their axles

Several cars have suffered major damage with wheels ripped o

Several cars have suffered major damage with wheels ripped o

Several cars have suffered major damage with wheels ripped off from their axles 

Traffic warden gives parking ticket to car smashed up in crash

Cafe owner Gokhan Derici, 32, was stunned when he saw a traffic warden slap a parking ticket on a car that was badly damaged in Tuesday evenings pile-up.

A black Audi A3 with its back wheel flattened and ripped open and the bus’s paint scraped along its dented rear remained parked opposite Mr Derici’s caff The Coffee Pot on Wednesday.

He claims he saw a female traffic warden stick the parking ticket on the damaged car at around 7am on Wednesday morning.

He said: ‘I opened up at half six I was outside. I was going to go over to this lady.

‘Before this car there was another car but he moved. Then she came and ticketed this one.

‘I think it is wrong. He didn’t ask for this to happen. He should not get a ticket.

‘You can see his back wheel, he can’t even move.’

Dartford Borough Council confirmed one person had been issued a parking ticket after their car was involved in the crash.

A council spokesman said: ‘It seems that one of our officers properly issued a ticket to a car parked outside a cafe in Hythe St this morning and then ticketed another vehicle close by that was involved in last night’s incident and had not been recovered from the scene.

‘When it became clear that the car was involved in the incident the ticket was cancelled immediately.’

 

Hairdresser Ramazan Sasmaz, 38, had his Mercedes slightly damaged during the incident.

He said: ‘I was shocked. I saw a big bus running into cars.

‘You think it is a terrorist arrack. It was scary. It was terrible. There were cars on the pavement.

‘My car is scratched but some cars are written off.’

A black Audi parked along Hythe Street on Wednesday still bore the scars from the previous evening, with a flat rear tyre and a large dent in its rear.

Turquoise blue paint from where the bus had struck it was scraped along the car’s rear.

Further along, a maroon Toyota’s bumper hung off and one of its rear wheels had been ripped open by the first of the impact.

The bus reportedly finally came to a standstill near a Salvation Army building just before the traffic lights on Hythe Street. 

Several tow trucks reportedly worked late into the night to remove damaged cars from the road.

Takeaway shop manager Mendis Arulappan, 55, saw his Toyota smashed onto the pavement as the bus scythed along Hythe Street.

One car almost ploughed into the Dartford Greek Taverna as it was shunted onto the pavement, he recalled

Mr Arulappan said: ‘I was in the shop last night and a big noise came from outside.

‘There were cars on the pavement. One car had hit the wall of the Greek Taverna.

‘One car had gone inside the Salvation Army church.

‘I was shocked. My car mounted the pavement . People were crying and dizzy.’

Kent Police confirmed a total of 25 vehicles are reported to have been damaged and 16 people have been reported injured. 

Brian Barnett tweeted: 'Serious accident in Dartford, my car smashed! About 20 cars involved, hit by bus. My back hurts!'

Brian Barnett tweeted: 'Serious accident in Dartford, my car smashed! About 20 cars involved, hit by bus. My back hurts!'

Brian Barnett tweeted: ‘Serious accident in Dartford, my car smashed! About 20 cars involved, hit by bus. My back hurts!’

The bus continued to crash into cars until it came to stationary traffic at the top of the road

The bus continued to crash into cars until it came to stationary traffic at the top of the road

The bus continued to crash into cars until it came to stationary traffic at the top of the road

None of the injuries are thought to be serious.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘We were called, along with other emergency services, to a crash involving a bus and around 25 other vehicles.

‘Crews worked with SECAmb paramedics to look after a number of people suffering from minor injuries.

‘One person required oxygen following the incident.’ 

Kent Police are appealing for anyone with video footage of the crash to contact them.

A spokesman said: ‘We are appealing for information following a multiple vehicle collision in Dartford town centre on Tuesday 29 May.

‘Officers were called to Hythe Street at 6.48pm alongside the South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.   

The emergency services treated several 'walking wounded' at the scene of the incident 

The emergency services treated several 'walking wounded' at the scene of the incident 

The emergency services treated several ‘walking wounded’ at the scene of the incident 

Police confirmed the driver of the bus has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving

Police confirmed the driver of the bus has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving

Police confirmed the driver of the bus has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving

Police are trying to determine the cause of the incident and are speaking to the driver

Police are trying to determine the cause of the incident and are speaking to the driver

Police are trying to determine the cause of the incident and are speaking to the driver

Police are trying to determine the cause of the incident and are speaking to the driver

Police are trying to determine the cause of the incident and are speaking to the driver

‘A total of 25 vehicles, including a bus, are reported to have been damaged and 16 people have reported being injured. None of the injuries are reported to be serious.

‘A man has been arrested on suspicion of careless driving and remains in police custody.

‘Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit is conducting ongoing enquiries into the matter and would like to hear from anyone that is yet to speak with an officer.

‘They would be particularly interested in receiving still or moving images taken by witnesses.’

Oliver Monahan, area managing director for Arriva Kent and Surrey, said: ‘Arriva can confirm that a bus has collided with a number of vehicles on Hythe Road in Dartford.

‘There have been some reported injuries and at the moment our priority is supporting the emergency services.

‘Our thoughts are very much with all those affected.’           

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