A bus driver in his 60s and two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene when the 51-seat coach, which was bringing fans back from the festival, hit a tree and flipped over on the A3, near the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey.
Inspector Richard Mallett of Surrey police’s traffic division told the London Evening Standard the accident was so serious that “every survivor was taken to hospital.”
He said some of the injuries are so severe that people may lose limbs.
“There are people with life-changing injuries. The effect of these will go on for years our hearts go out to their families,” he said.
Three people were pronounced dead at the scene and another casualty was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital.
“The priority is to get the people out of the coach and then we can really begin to look at forwarding the investigation,” Mallett explained.
He said that “road conditions or the weather” weren’t believed to be the cause of the crash and that no other vehicles are thought to have been involved.
Bestival organisers issued a short statement expressing their shock, and the festival has set up a casualty bureau phone line.
“Devastating news re coach crash, our thoughts are with the relatives of those affected by this tragic incident,” the statement said.
People concerned about passengers on board the bus should call 0800.056.0154.
The festival itself, which was on the Isle Of Wight Sept. 6-9 and was the last of the UK’s major summer festivals, pulled a record-breaking 50,000 per day and was the first UK outdoor be streamed worldwide on YouTube.
The lineup included Stevie Wonder, Florence & The Machine, New Order, Sigur Rós and The xx.