Six dead in Ottawa train-bus collision



Posted on September 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 18 at 9:52 PM

 Ottawa, Ontario (CNN) -- A double-decker bus and a passenger train collided in Ottawa on Wednesday morning, killing six people and injuring at least 30 others, authorities said.

The dead included the bus driver, and all of the dead and injured had been on the bus, authorities said at a news conference.

A third of the injured were in critical condition, said Anthony Di Monte, chief of the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

First responders found “bodies and debris pretty much everywhere at the impact site,” Ottawa Fire Service’s Marc Messier told CTV News Channel.

See a train passenger’s photos of the scene

“It’s definitely a serious scene,” Messier said. “Our top priority is getting anyone with serious injuries to the hospital and getting them into proper care.”

The crash happened at 8:48 a.m., CBC News and CTV News reported. CTV said a Via Rail train hit an Ottawa Carlton Transit city bus at Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road.

The train derailed “approximately 100 to 200 feet down the rail,” Messier said.

CBC News quoted firefighters as saying the front end of the bus sustained significant damage. It said in a Twitter message that the Transportation Safety Board was headed to the crash site.

Five people were pronounced dead at the scene, and one died after being taken to a hospital, Di Monte said. Thirty others were taken to hospitals, he said.

Heather Hogan, 26, of Kingston, Ontario, was waiting for the train when she heard “a thud” and “a loud metal-on-metal screech.”

“I called 911 and said there was a train derailment,” she said. “Everyone was just standing there in shock.”

“My thoughts are with the victims of this accident,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said. “Please pray for those affected and for our 1st responders dealing with this tragedy.”

The city’s police chief, Charles Bordeleau, told reporters late Wednesday morning that it was too early to “speak to any cause of this collision.”