Four people were killed and dozens injured when a bus overturned on a “extremely icy” highway in British Columbia on Christmas Eve, officials said.
The bus crashed on Highway 97C, about 170 miles northeast of Vancouver and east of Merritt, around 6 pm local time, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The identities of the four dead have not been released, and details about where the bus started from, where it was headed and who owned it were not immediately available.
Emergency responders transported 52 people to hospital. Of those, 36 of her chose to be treated for injuries ranging from minor to serious, said Michaela Swan, a spokesperson for medical provider Interior Health.
Of those still hospitalized as of Sunday, two were in serious condition and two had no life-threatening injuries, she said.
“While the number of patients remaining in the hospital is low, this is a life-changing incident for everyone involved, from the initial physical injury to the emotional and mental impact of an incident such as this.” Ms Swann said in a statement.
The RCMP said an investigation into the crash was ongoing, but said “extremely icy road conditions are believed to have caused the rollover.” Weather records show that the temperature on Merritt at the time of the crash was about 21 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 6 degrees Celsius).
All Canadian provinces and territories issued emergency weather warnings on Saturday. That’s because the winter weather system has sapped thousands of power, made the roads slippery, and left dozens of cars piling up on Ontario’s highways.
and statementBritish Columbia Prime Minister David Evey, and government ministers said they were “shocked and saddened” to hear of the crash.
“Our thoughts are with those affected by the crash, their loved ones, and first responders and medical workers who are doing everything in their power to treat and keep people safe,” the statement said. Stated.
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said: on Twitter Thank you to “all who answered the call to duty on Christmas Eve.”
He said that when mass casualty protocols were activated, “medical workers across the region rushed to help, including 16 ambulances and two aircraft from Kelowna, Merritt, Kamloops, and the surrounding areas. ‘ said.