- POSTED: 18 Sep 2013 22:39
This graph is an experimental feature that tracks number of views over time.
A double-decker bus collided with a passenger train at a crossing in a suburb of Canada's capital on Wednesday, killing at least five people, an official said.
OTTAWA: A double-decker bus crashed into a passenger train at a crossing south of Canada's capital on Wednesday, killing at least five people, an official said.
Ottawa fire department spokesman Marc Messier told broadcaster CTV that at least five bus passengers died and up to six others were injured.
"We had bodies and debris pretty much everywhere at the impact site," CTV quoted Messier as saying.
Ottawa Police said it was investigating the collision.
The Via Rail company operating the affected train on the Ottawa-to-Toronto line -- on which traffic has been suspended -- reported no fatalities. It was on its way from Montreal.
The OC Transpo bus was on its way downtown during the morning rush hour when the accident happened shortly before 8:48am local time (1248 GMT).
It happened in the Barrhaven, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Ottawa, shortly before it was due to stop at a nearby station.
The injured were being transported to area hospitals, some of them by helicopter.
The front of the bus mangled and sheered off and the train derailed.
Witnesses, meanwhile, recounted passengers being thrown from the bus.
Chad Mariage, on his way to work, was seated towards the back of the bus's second level when the accident happened.
He wasn't injured, he said, calling himself "one of the lucky ones".
"The impact was pretty severe," he told AFP.
People were screaming on the bus just prior to the crash, he said, adding that the crash "wasn't a direct hit".
"We could all see the train coming towards us -- almost in slow motion," he said. "The bus driver hit the brakes but it was too late."
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, which occurred on a cloudless and sunny autumn morning.
Emergency workers and police who rushed to the scene cordoned off the area as they helped victims and began their probe.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
"Deeply saddened to hear about the bus-train collision in Ottawa this morning," he tweeted. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved."
The accident happened just a little over two months after an oil tanker train derailed and exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people.