Sev­eral deaths in bus crash

Three dead in dou­bledecker bus crash at West­boro Sta­tion, with more than a dozen hurt

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - ONTARIO NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH PAYNE

three peo­ple are dead and 23 were in­jured Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter a west­bound dou­ble-decker oc transpo bus filled with com­muters smashed into a bus shel­ter at West­boro Sta­tion in ottawa.

the ex­tent of the in­juries of those who sur­vived is not yet known.

Pho­tos taken by wit­nesses on the scene showed the front of the bus smashed in and vic­tims ly­ing on the ground. the crash hap­pened at 3:50 p.m.

mul­ti­ple first re­spon­ders rushed to the scene. Paramedics said the crash in­volved mul­ti­ple in­juries and some of the in­juries were crit­i­cal. one per­son was be­ing treated at the scene.

coun. Jeff leiper said more than a dozen peo­ple have been taken to hos­pi­tal. First re­spon­ders used lad­ders to get to the dam­aged sec­ond floor of the bus. a pas­sen­ger on the bus said it was route 269, head­ing to kanata. the bus ap­peared to be three-quar­ters full.

the bus took off part of the shel­ter’s struc­ture, said a para­medic. one wit­ness de­scribed half of the sec­ond story of the bus be­ing gone.

the civic cam­pus of the ottawa Hos­pi­tal de­clared a code orange at 4:37 p.m. the hos­pi­tal would call a code orange in the event of a dis­as­ter in the com­mu­nity. the hos­pi­tal said it re­ceived nine pa­tients in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

the Queensway car­leton Hos­pi­tal said it re­ceived one pa­tient by am­bu­lance and sev­eral walk-in pa­tients from the crash.

the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties was con­firmed as of early Fri­day evening.

mayor Jim Wat­son asked res­i­dents to stay out of the area “in or­der to as­sist first re­spon­ders with their work.” He said more in­for­ma­tion would be pro­vided at a press con­fer­ence at 7 p.m. Fri­day.

“i was shocked to hear of this hor­rific in­ci­dent at West­boro Sta­tion,” said the mayor in a state­ment on twit­ter. “my first thoughts are with those who have been in­jured and their fam­i­lies. i have asked staff to en­sure all nec­es­sary re­sources are made avail­able to as­sist them through this dif­fi­cult time.”

as mul­ti­ple am­bu­lances, po­lice and fire­fight­ers rushed to the scene, oc transpo was asked to stop send­ing buses into the tran­sit­way to make it eas­ier for first re­spon­ders to ac­cess vic­tims.

one eye­wit­ness who pre­ferred not to be named de­scribed the bus driver hit­ting ice, which launched the bus into the side of the West­boro tran­sit sta­tion, tak­ing out a sign and then hit­ting an over­hang on the side of the shel­ter. the dam­age “goes back about 10 rows.”

the wit­ness said the bus was full and the col­li­sion was “very se­ri­ous.”

Sev­eral wit­nesses de­scribed a scene eerily sim­i­lar to the 2013 bus-train crash that killed six peo­ple. Pho­tos showed in­jured pas­sen­gers ly­ing on the ground be­ing treated.

an eye­wit­ness said she saw at least 15 emer­gency ve­hi­cle rush­ing down Scott Street to­ward the crash.

an­other eye­wit­ness said she heard sirens, and when she looked over the rail­ing above the sta­tion she saw that “the whole top of the bus was to­talled.”

the top sec­tion of the front of the dou­ble-decker bus was smashed in by the shel­ter’s over­hang, all the way back to the stairs on the bus, so peo­ple were un­able to get down from the top floor, she said.

“i heard a lot of peo­ple scream­ing, try­ing to get off the bus. they were stuck in there.” emer­gency re­spon­ders were smash­ing the win­dows, yelling, “glass.”

“i couldn’t be­lieve it, me and my best friend fight to sit at the front of the bus. and now i’m just ... ter­ri­fied, it’s ab­so­lutely heart­break­ing.”

She saw a man pulled from the bus, ban­daged and strapped to a board. “He was in pretty bad con­di­tion, i don’t even know how to de­scribe it, he had his head wrapped but there was a lot of blood.”

JUSTIN TANG/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Po­lice and first re­spon­ders work at the scene where a dou­ble-decker city bus struck a tran­sit shel­ter in Ottawa, on Fri­day.

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