Hampshire police have launched an appeal for witnesses and anyone with dashcam footage to come forward after one person died and 22 others were injured when a double decker bus crashed with two cars on the Isle of Wight yesterday.

The collision happened at the Forest Road junction with Betty Haunt Lane, Newport, at 12.46pm yesterday and was declared a major incident. The woman who died was in her 60s and was in a red Fiat Bravo, which crashed with the bus. The three other passengers in that car were rushed to hospital in a serious condition.

Four people in the other car, a silver Mini Cooper, were taken to hospital as a precaution and the driver of the bus, a man in his 50s, was also seriously injured. Ten passengers who were travelling on the bus have been taken to hospital as a precaution.

A statement from the police said: “If anyone witnessed the collision and hasn’t already spoken to police, please call 101 and quote reference 375 of April 14.

“If you saw any of the vehicles prior to the collision or have Dashcam footage of the vehicles or the incident, please get in touch.”

The statement added that Forest Road is currently closed with no access from Betty Haunt Lane or Whitehouse Road and motorists and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area as the closures are likely to remain in place for some time.

Two Air Ambulances attended the scene and all casualties were taken to St Mary’s Hospital, Southampton General Hospital and Brighton Hospitals.

Speaking at the scene group commander for the fire and rescue service, Justin Harden, said: “My thoughts are with the deceased’s family, on behalf of everybody here. It has been a significant incident, the like of which we have not seen for some time.

“It has been a really effective multi-agency response — police, ambulance, fire and air ambulance.”

He added: “It was quite a busy scene, but I would be doing a disservice if I said chaotic because there was some really effective simultaneous working going on across the two cars and the bus to make sure everyone was extricated and moved from the vehicles as quickly as they could be.”

A spokeswoman for Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “A major incident was declared at 13.51 today after a serious road traffic incident took place on Forest Road, Newport, involving two cars and a bus.

“The Isle of Wight NHS Trust can confirm that four people have been airlifted to mainland hospitals and currently 15 patients have been brought into St Mary’s Hospital.”

Alisha Smith, 23, on holiday from the mainland, was on the bus. She said: “We were driving down the road. A mini pulled out from a side road.

“The driver did his best to avoid it, but we hit and then bounced on to hit another car following in a different direction. The next thing I know, I was on the floor and got up to see if everyone was ok.

“A few hurt and covered in blood, but no one severely injured at the top.”