The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 11, 2019 7:39PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 11, 2019 8:00PM EST
OTTAWA — Three people were killed and 23 injured when a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa on Friday afternoon, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says.
The crash was west of downtown at 3:50 p.m., at the beginning of rush hour. The bus was bound for Kanata, a more distant Ottawa suburb, Watson said at a news conference at city hall in the evening.
Two of the dead were riding the bus; one was on the platform at Westboro station, a major stop on the city’s busway, Watson said.
The Ottawa Hospital’s trauma centre said it had received nine patients “in critical condition” from the collision.
Photos posted on Twitter showed extensive damage to the front of the bus, with the roof of a shelter well into the vehicle’s second deck.
“Most of the serious injuries were on the upper-right side of the bus,” said Chief Charles Bordeleau of the Ottawa police. “I want to express my sorrow and condolences of the Ottawa police service and other emergency services.”
He said police were still investigating the cause of the crash. The driver of the bus was “detained on the scene and will be questioned at our police station,” Bordeleau said.
“This will be a long investigation,” he said.
An obviously distressed woman was seen being wheeled away from the bus on a stretcher by paramedics.
Afternoon traffic snarled around the station as dozens of emergency personnel descended on the scene. Police were urging people to avoid the area and said roads would stay closed for many hours.
Buses were being detoured as a result of the accident, OC Transpo said.
In 2013, an Ottawa bus collided with a Via Rail train in suburban Barrhaven, killing six people.
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