News Local

Up to 60 hospitalized after tour bus crash

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Royal Inland Hospital has entered into a "mass casualty" response after a tour bus crashed near Merritt, B.C. Thursday afternoon.

There was no word on any deaths. Michaela Swan, spokeswoman with Interior Health Authority, said they're prepared spots for 40 patients to arrive.

"In these instances, the hospital in Kamloops has initiated a code orange response which is a mass casualty event," she said. ​

The B.C. Ambulance Service said the crash occurred about 30 kilometres south of Merritt.

​"Initial reports from the scene identify almost 60 patients however we have not confirmed the types of injuries at this time," said a spokeswoman with the service.

She added the BCAS has dispatched 19 ground ambulances and six helicopters to the scene.

RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming said the bus was involved in a single-vehicle accident and rolled over. Crash reconstruction investigators are on scene but have no information on what caused the incident yet. 

"All the injured people are Asian, the predominant language we believe is Chinese — it's making it diffuclt but there are two interpreters on scene assisting," he said. 

Mounties say the Coquihalla will be closed for "a while." 

He said there were 56 people in total on the bus — six are in critical condition. Thirty five have minor injuries, such as small fractures, cuts and bruises. Fifteen are considered seriously hurt. 

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