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A9 Crash Kills Two Heading To Music Festival RockNess

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A9 CRASH
Two men have been killed in a crash involving a van and a bus taking people to this weekend's RockNess music festival. | PA

Two men have been killed in a crash involving a van and a bus taking people to this weekend's RockNess music festival.

The van driver and his passenger died of their injuries following the collision on the A9 at Ralia, in the Highlands.

The bus driver was airlifted to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow with serious injuries after she became trapped in the vehicle.

Fourteen passengers have been taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment to a range of injuries, none of which are life-threatening.

Northern Constabulary said there were 47 people on board the bus, including the driver.

Police said the vehicle was a service bus from Edinburgh, bound for the three-day festival in Dores, on the banks of Loch Ness.

They started receiving numerous calls from the public about the incident at around 3.40pm today.

Thirty-two passengers were taken by bus to Inverness, where Highland Council is arranging accommodation if necessary.

Officers said the identities of the men who died will not be released until their relatives have been told.

The crash happened between the A889 and B9150 junctions.

The road will remain closed for several hours to allow a full accident investigation to take place, police said.

They do not expect it to re-open before midnight.

Motorists have been told to expect delays, to be patient and to drive with care.

Northbound diversions are through Dalwhinnie and southbound diversions are through Crubenmore.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said the passengers taken to Raigmore Hospital had minor injuries.

They were taken to the hospital in patient transport vehicles, rather than A&E ambulances.

An ambulance service helicopter based at the Southern General, carrying an Emergency Medical Retrieval Service team of specialists, was used to airlift the driver to hospital, a spokesman said.

The latest deaths on the A9, one of Scotland's most dangerous roads, comes a week after two lorry drivers died in an apparent head-on collision on the road.

The lorries, one carrying newspapers and the other barrels of alcohol, crashed on the A9 north of Blair Atholl, Perthshire, in the early hours of last Friday.

The drivers were named today as 37-year-old Alex Russell, of Moodiesburn, Glasgow, and John Sommerville, 34, of Carluke, South Lanarkshire.

Tayside Police said: "Both families are understandably upset by their sudden loss and have said that they will both be greatly missed.

"Enquiries into the full set of circumstances are still ongoing and officers would appeal to anyone who was travelling on the A9 between Perth and Drumochter between midnight and 3am on Friday June 1 or who may have seen either of the two lorries involved to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222."

The lorries are described as a silver and burgundy articulated lorry and a blue Iveco lorry.

Today's crash prompted repeated calls from people on social networking sites for the road to be fully widened to a dual carriageway as soon as possible.

The long-awaited upgrade will begin in 2017 and the road is scheduled to be completely dualled by 2025.

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