In Ottawa, Canada, a multiple crash has been reported after a passenger train collided with a double decker bus, in the peak of the morning rush hour at approximately 8:48 am. It is also reported that the driver is believed to be dead.
11 passengers have sustained severe injuries and 30 passengers have been hospitalized.
The front part of the double decker bus has been ripped away by the impact of the train. As witnesses have described, the bus went through the crossing barrier, which was closed. Gregory Mach, one of the witnesses who was a passenger, had said that the people on board were shouting for the bus to come to a halt as it approached the safety barrier.
“There were bodies on the train tracks, it was horrible. There’s just no other way to explain it,” Mach told news reporters.
The passenger train, Via Rail, posted a message on Twitter saying, “there were no reports of major injuries to passengers or crew on the train.”
After the incident, which occurred just outside a suburban train station in the city’s west end, the rail company canceled all train routes.
Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, posted a message on Twitter to say he was deeply saddened by the accident: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved,” he wrote.
Compared to a previous train incident in Quebec, where a train had derailed and exploded, killing 50 people in July, this is said to be far worse.
Pascal Lolgis, a witness of the crash, said the bus seemed to have driven through a lowered crossing barrier and simply would not stop.
Mark Cogan, another witness said:
“The train is going through, and I was just looking around, just watching things happen. And noticed that in the bus lane, the double-decker bus… I saw him, and he just kept going. I just thought maybe there’s a side way around or something, but instantly, he just … he smoked the train. He went through the guard rail and just hammered the train, and then it was just mayhem.”
The injured people from the bus, who were capable of walking were taken to another bus nearby to be treated by the paramedics. The rescue crews continued to work through the wreckage to free passengers who were still trapped.
Written By: Landi Bezuidenhout