17 people have been injured after a bus crashed on a motorway slip road.
The driver and 16 passengers were all taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital after the Oxford Bus Company vehicle overturned while driving in thick fog at around 2.30am this morning (Friday December 30).
The male driver, 54, and the adults passengers - a mixture of male and female - were suffering from broken bones, cuts and bruises.
One of those on board told The Mirror they were thrown from their seat and smashed into a pane of glass forcing them to climb over seats to escape.
The university student added: “Someone shouted that they could smell fuel so we all tried to clamber out which meant clambering over the seats.
“At one point we were actually walking on the overhead luggage racks.
“The bus driver was at what was the front of the bus and helped us all out even though he was obviously bleeding pretty heavily and some of his blood was on the floor.
“He wouldn’t leave the bus until all the passengers were off.”
The driver was "very experienced" and has been working overnight shifts for many years, according to company boss Phil Southall.
He said it was too early to speculate on the cause of the crash which happened when the bus was returning to Oxford.
The blue bus, which was travelling from Heathrow to Oxford, overturned on a sliproad embankment on the M40 northbound, at junction 7 (Milton Common), which is near Thame.
Crews from High Wycombe, two from Thame, two from Kidlington, one from Wheatley and two officers attended.
Firefighters assisted the police and ambulance services and the Highways Agency.
Highways England said the slip road was expected to remain closed until later today.
They Tweeted: “J7 N/B exit slip expected to remain closed until later today for emergency repairs following the overturned bus this morning.”
It has been declared a major incident by the South Central Ambulance Service because of the number of people involved.
At the scene, there were six ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, three ambulance officers, a BASICS Doctor and the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team.
The crash comes as the Met Office issued a yellow fog warning, with fog and freezing patches and visibility reduced to less than 100 metres in some places.
Photos courtesy of Bucks and MK Fire, the South Central Ambulance Service and Highways England.