There were no life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash this morning
Most of the patients taken to hospital after a crash between a school bus and a car in Co Limerick this morning have now been discharged.
36 people were injured in the collision, which happened outside Caherconlish at around 8.30am.
Up to 46 secondary school students from John the Baptist Community School in the town of Hospital were on board the bus when it collided with a car and overturned on its side off the road.
There were no life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash.
A major emergency services response swung into action, and a fleet of ambulances, fire trucks, garda personnel and an air ambulance helicopter were dispatched to the scene of the collision.
All of the students on board were evacuated from the bus and there were no reports of serious injuries.
36 people were taken to the emergency department of University Hospital Limerick, where they were treated for a variety of minor injuries.
Health officials said the injuries sustained mostly consisted of musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries, but also included a small number of fractures
Most patients have now been discharged, with a total of four patients admitted.
We have several City & County Fire Crews in attendance at a multi vehicle collision at Connelly’s Cross, Caherconlish. Several @HSELive Ambulance, Gardai & Medivac112 also in attendance.— Limerick Fire (@LimerickFire) February 7, 2018
In an earlier statement, the hospital said it had cleared the resuscitation and paediatric areas of the hospital to receive the casualties.
The hospital assigned additional surgical teams and nursing staff to the emergency Department in "anticipation of trauma-type injuries".
The incident group to deal with those injured has since been stood down.
UL Hospitals Group CEO Prof Colette Cowan said: “This was a distressing incident for everyone involved and I would like to pay tribute to all the emergency services for their effective response in managing it.
"We are proud to work alongside colleagues in the National Ambulance Service, Fire Service, An Garda Siochana, Limerick City and County Council and MidWest Community Healthcare. Our own staff at UHL showed exceptional dedication in managing the situation with many turning up to help without having been called in."
She added: "I would also like to thank St John the Baptist Community School for their professionalism and they can rely on our support if required in the coming days and weeks."
The bus ended up on its side in a ditch following the collision.
The driver of the car involved was cut from the wreckage by emergency service personnel.
Four units attached to Limerick City and County Fire and Rescue Service were at the scene.
Diversions are in place and gardaí are appealing for witnesses.
The R513 between Caherconlish and Herbertstown remains remains closed with diversions in place.
At least two investigations are underway into the crash.
Gardaí and Bus Éireann are examining the circumstances that led to today's incident.
This morning, the Minister for Education Richard Bruton said he was concerned at the reports:
“We are only hearing very early reports and my department is working with Bus Éireann,” he said.
“My thoughts are with the families and the children involved.
“I hope everybody is well but we will just have to wait and see what developments occur during the day.”
He said his department is also doing everything it can to help:
"As far as the department is concerned we will be working with Bus Éireann and the other authorities to make sure that every support is provided to the families," he said.
"It is a worrying time and our hearts are with them."
Additional reporting from David Raleigh