News

Bus rolls over south of Merritt; 5 critically injured

   -
— image credit:

A tour bus rolled over on the Coquihalla Highway on Wednesday, approximately 30 km south of Merritt, B.C., leaving all 56 people on board with injuries.

The most recent reports say five people were left with critical injuries, 10 in serious condition, and 28 had non-life threatening injuries.

"We don't have any fatalities listed yet and we're just crossing our fingers and hoping for the best on that one," said RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming.

Interior Health said injured passengers were sent to hospitals in Merritt, Kamloops, and Kelowna. The RCMP on Thursday said it was a single-vehicle accident and Fleming said all passengers on board were Asian.

The tour bus was being operated by Richmond-based Super Vacation, the "largest Chinese tour operator in North America," according to the company's website. The company's profile says it was 15 branches and over 300 staff and calls its service "No. 1 among all the Asian tour operators" visiting the Rocky Mountains.

"It's our tour, yes," Nick Kam, the company's director for service, told The Canadian Press.

The Coquihalla Highway (Thompson/Nicole Highway 5) was closed for hours in both directions at exit 256. The highway was re-opened between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night, over four hours after the incident.

Just after 1 a.m. on Friday morning, Drive BC tweeted that both lanes of the Coquihalla were open and that there were no clear delays southbound.

Code Orange at Royal Inland Hospital

The Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops confirmed to Black Press around 4:30 p.m. that it was expecting to receive 40 patients and that it was under Code Orange, a response in preparation to receive a high number of patients.

A spokesperson for the hospital also said Royal Inland is bringing in extra staff to its critical care areas.

Global BC quoted an eyewitness, student Adam Hopewell, who described the scene:

"There were people under the bus. It looked really bad... We (saw) a big cloud of dirt, and it looked like the bus hit the meridian and tipped on the side, and it was upright with a whole bunch of scratches."

Just after the incident, Global anchor Chris Gailus Tweeted the photo below with a witness caption, "Blood everywhere."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Across Canada runner raising awareness for diabetes
 
Mission BC Winter Games opening ceremonies draw hundreds
 
Teacher strike cheques in the mail
Insider Reveals the Costs and Rewards on the Road to Pro-Hockey in Canada
 
Gun amnesty declared in June
 
Dreamlift Flight touches down on fun
Herman goes to Africa
 
Sparwood all-candidates forum well-attended
 
Cities target gaps in care for mentally ill

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.