A HARTLEPOOL couple had a miracle escape after they were trapped under the wheels of a reversing holiday bus a seaside resort.
Pensioners Jimmy and Fran Moon had to be rescued from underneath the National coach on Blackpool Promenade.
Shocked onlookers watched as the couple, both in their 70s and walking along Princess Parade, near the Grand Metropole Hotel, were struck by the coach which had been dropping off holidaymakers.
Witnesses banged on the windows of the reversing coach to alert the driver, but it did not stop until after the couple were underneath the vehicle.
Miraculously, after a 25-minute rescue, the couple were freed by firefighters and escaped the incident on Monday with minor injuries.
The couple, who have four children, were given the trip as a Christmas present and visited the resort with Jimmy’s sister Christine Bishop, 65, and her partner Tony Martin, 68.
Fran, who lives on the Bakers Mead estate in Hartlepool, said: “People have been saying we are the luckiest people on Earth.”
They had just arrived on another coach for the start of a five-day break when the incident happened.
Fran added: “We got our cases and then started walking towards the hotel. The next thing I felt was the bus that pushed me over and I was under the bus.
“I thought my day had come. I imagined it going over my body and squeezing everything out of me.”
Jimmy, 78, had gone under the middle of the vehicle and while Fran, 76, was nearer the back wheel, they both passed under the bus relatively unscathed.
The couple have visited Blackpool regularly for the last four decades since their children were young.
Crews from Lancashire Fire and Rescue’s Forest Gate Fire Station and the urban rescue team worked at the scene, using hydraulic equipment to lift the vehicle up before removing the pair.
The couple were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by ambulance.
Despite the pair both being trapped under the coach, which weighs up to 19 tonnes, one passenger told how they neither heard nor felt the impact of the collision, and knew nothing of it until people rushed and banged on the coaches windows for it to stop.
The passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “We didn’t hear or feel anything until someone knocked on the bus and said there’s people under the bus. We got off and they (the couple) were just lying under the bus.”
Passersby said emergency vehicles filled the seafront as crews worked to rescue the pair.
A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 1.10pm to the Grand Metropole Hotel, Blackpool, to an incident involving a bus and two people.”
A spokesman for the North West Air Ambulance said: “We were called to a trauma in Blackpool involving two people in their 70s. They were taken to hospital by land ambulance.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Two people, a man and a woman in their 70s, were trapped under a bus outside the hotel.
“Both were released and suffered minor injuries. No arrests have been made at this stage.”
A National Holidays spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident outside of the Metropole Hotel and are working with the emergency services to determine exactly what happened.
“We are currently unable to comment further regarding this but our thoughts are with the two people taken to hospital.”