Several Deaths, Many Hurt in Ottawa Double-Decker Bus Crash

Several Deaths, Many Hurt in Ottawa Double-Decker Bus Crash

First responders worked through the night to investigate a double-decker bus crash in Ottawa that left three people dead and injured 23 more, including 14 in critical condition.

The collision of the OC Transpo double-decker bus happened on the westbound Transitway just before 4 p.m. local time (21:00 GMT).

Myles Cassidy, the chief of the Ottawa paramedic service, said that a total of 25 patients had been transported to the hospital from the scene. Road closures remain in place near the scene of the collision and police are asking the public to avoid the area.

The bus was nearly at its 90-passenger capacity when the crash occurred, police say.

Police Chief Charles Bordeleau told reporters that an investigation into the cause of the crash was underway, and that the driver of the bus had been released unconditionally following questioning. Most of the serious injuries were incurred by passengers on the upper-right side of the bus. Bordeleau said new information has surfaced to challenge that account, but did not provide further details.

He went outside and came across a "chaotic" scene, with at least 30 emergency vehicles, including seven or eight fire trucks, and lots of police and bystanders, he said. "People were screaming... I saw like two or three bodies just flying through the windshield of the bus".

The crash is the second involving an Ottawa transit bus in recent years.

Ottawa's mayor Jim Watson spoke at a press conference of a "grey misfortune".

Politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, tweeted messages of support. The investigation into that case found the cause was a combination of excessive speed, a hard curve before the tracks and driver distraction.

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