Dozens injured in BC tour bus accident, 6 critically

Dozens of people were injured, six of them critically, when a tour bus rolled over Thursday on a mountain highway in British Columbia.

RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming said all 56 passengers suffered some sort of injury when the southbound bus crashed in the afternoon on the Coquihalla Highway, about 30 kilometres south of Merritt.

The area is about a three-hour drive northeast of Vancouver.

Six of the passengers were in critical condition and 15 were seriously hurt.

The rest suffered bumps, bruises and cuts requiring stitches, he said.

"We don't have any fatalities listed yet and we're just crossing our fingers and hoping for the best on that one,'' he said.

Flemming said the cause of the accident is under investigation. However, he said the bus was the only vehicle involved.

The bus was headed to the Vancouver area from the Okanagan region in B.C.'s Interior and two interpreters were accompanying passengers.

Flemming described the passengers as Asian, but he had no additional information.

Kelsie Carwithen of B.C. Emergency Health Services said six helicopters and 19 ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

Grace Kucey of Kelowna General Hospital said her facility and a hospital in Kamloops were under a code orange.

Kucey said Kamloops was expecting about 40 passengers, with the rest heading to Kelowna.

Staff were ready to triage patients, she said.

The highway was closed Thursday evening, with air ambulances landing on the roadway.

"It's a big mess,'' said Flemming.


Photo credit: Twitter-Chris Gailus

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