A stricken Tesco store was open for business again this morning (Friday) despite damage from a dramatic vehicle collision.
The incident happened around 5pm last night when a car mounted the pavement and smashed into a store pillar, causing damage to a CHAIN charity Handybus and other vehicles and leaving gaping cracks from the top to bottom of a brick pillar.
The Everland Road store was evacuated as firefighters used specialist equipment to cut two people free from the wreckage of the car which struck the store front.
A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman, Hannah Jones, said: “We were called following reports of a car colliding with several other vehicles as well as the wall of the Tesco store."
Two pumps from Newbury fire station, together with a heavy rescue unit from Reading, attended the scene and a spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), David Gallagher, said an elderly man and woman were taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, after being cut from the wreckage.
A nurse who had been shopping in the store stopped to help at the scene.
CHAIN Handybus co-ordinator Ted Angell said: "Our community bus was parked in Tesco some way from the store. No one was in the bus and fortunately the driver was in Tesco’s - all of which was a great relief for us.
"The bus was hit by a car at some force – enough to move the bus against two adjacent cars. The car then went on some 10 metres to hit another car and Tesco’s wall. Goodness knows how it got that far considering the force that the bus took."
He added: "It looks as if we have lost our community bus for some time, at a busy time of year when a lot of elderly and less mobile people are reliant on our services. I have a feeling it might be a write-off. But more importantly we hope that those injured in other cars make a full recovery."
Tesco has issued the following statement: "Police are investigating the incident at our Hungerford store and we are supporting them with their enquiries. Our thoughts and best wishes are with those involved in the incident."
Tonight's Victorian Extravaganza was indirectly affected after Tesco management reportedly cancelled an agreement to site a giant carousel in the car park following the incident.
PHOTOGRAPH ROYAL BERKSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE