The death toll from a horrific tour bus crash has risen from five to nine after the vehicle slid off an icy interstate in Oregon before tumbling over a steep embankment near an area known as Deadman Pass.
Police say the bus lost control along snow and ice-covered lanes on Interstate 84 causing it to crash through a guardrail in eastern Oregon around 10.30am this morning injuring more than 20 others.
The bus carrying about 40 people from Las Vegas to Vancouver, B.C. fell about a few hundred feet before finally coming to a stop according to state police.
All of the last ‘viable victims’ have since been removed from the bus, according to Pendleton Fire Chief Gary Woodson speaking to East Oregonian.
St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton treated 26 people from the accident, including some who were treated and then transported to other medical facilities, said hospital spokesman Larry Blanc.
Lt. Greg Hastings said the bus crashed along the west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called Deadman Pass. Stretches of highway in the rural and agricultural area of east Oregon tend to be icy in winter months.
The bus slid down the hill and landed upright, with little or no debris visible around the crash site.
I-84 is a major east-west highway through Oregon that follows the Columbia River Gorge.
Umatilla County Emergency Manager Jack Remillard said the bus was owned by Mi Joo travel in Vancouver, B.C.
A bus safety website run by the U.S. Department of Transportation said Mi Joo Tour & Travel has six buses, none of which have been involved in any accidents in at least the past two years.
A spokesman for the American Bus Association said buses carry more than 700 million passengers a year in the United States.
‘The industry as a whole is a very safe industry,’ said Dan Ronan of the Washington, D.C.,-based group. ‘There are only a handful of accidents every year. Comparatively speaking, we’re the safest form of surface transportation.’
The bus crash was the second fatal accident on I-84 in Oregon on Sunday morning due to icy conditions after a 69-year-old man died in a rollover accident.
Source: The Daily Mail