A PEDESTRIAN was airlifted to hospital after being hit by a bus.

Shop workers reported hearing screams as the man was knocked down by a single-decker bus close to North Road bus station, in Durham City, shortly before 3pm yesterday.

The man was treated at the scene by paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service, before he was taken to a Great North Air Ambulance helicopter which had landed on Palace Green, near Durham Cathedral. The man was then taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

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The extent of his injuries are not yet known.

The bus involved was an Arriva vehicle on the 49A Durham-Brandon route. It appears the bus turned left out of the bus station onto North Road and the crash happened about 10 to 20 yards from the exit.

A shop worker in the street, who did not wish to be named said: “I heard screams in the street and later heard the sirens arriving. It’s terrible.”

Dozens of people, who were relaxing on Palace Green, were cleared from the area to allow the helicopter to land.

Julie Martin, of Sunderland: “We were quite excited a first when we saw the helicopter approaching.

“The security guards asked everyone to clear the Palace Green before it landed. I have seen documentaries on television and thought they were making one at first - and then actually seeing it.

“The ambulance arrived and the person was placed on board, before it took off.”

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East said: “We can confirm that an incident occurred today as one of our buses left Durham Bus Station.

"We believe a pedestrian has been taken from the scene in an ambulance. We are working closely with the police to understand exactly what happened.”