The death toll from a horrific tour bus crashÂ has risen from five to nine after the vehicle slid off an icy interstate inÂ Oregon before tumbling over a steep embankment near an area known as DeadmanÂ 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 aroundÂ 10.30am this morning injuring more than 20 others.
The bus carrying about 40 people from LasÂ Vegas to Vancouver, B.C. fell about a few hundred feet before finally coming toÂ a stop according to state police.
All of the last ‘viable victims’ have sinceÂ been removed from the bus, according to Pendleton Fire Chief Gary WoodsonÂ speaking to East Oregonian.
St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton treated 26Â people from the accident, including some who were treated and thenÂ transportedÂ to other medical facilities, said hospital spokesman LarryÂ Blanc.
Lt. Greg Hastings said the bus crashed alongÂ the west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called Deadman Pass.Â Stretches of highway in the rural and agricultural area of east Oregon tend toÂ be icy in winter months.
The bus slid down the hill and landedÂ upright, with little or no debris visible around the crash site.
I-84 is a major east-west highway throughÂ Oregon that follows the Columbia River Gorge.
Umatilla County Emergency Manager JackÂ Remillard said the bus was owned by Mi Joo travel in Vancouver,Â B.C.
A bus safety website run by the U.S.Â Department of Transportation said Mi Joo Tour & Travel has six buses, noneÂ of which have been involved in any accidents in at least the past twoÂ years.
A spokesman for the American Bus AssociationÂ said buses carry more than 700 million passengers a year in the UnitedÂ States.
‘The industry as a whole is a very safeÂ industry,’ said Dan Ronan of the Washington, D.C.,-based group. ‘There are onlyÂ a handful of accidents every year. Comparatively speaking, we’re the safest formÂ of surface transportation.’
The bus crash was the second fatalÂ accidentÂ on I-84 in Oregon on Sunday morning due to icy conditions after a 69-year-oldÂ man died in a rollover accident.
Source: The Daily Mail