Dozens injured after tour bus crashes near Merritt, B.C.

A tour bus crashed near Merritt, B.C., Thursday Aug. 28, 2014. All 56 passengers aboard were...

A tour bus crashed near Merritt, B.C., Thursday Aug. 28, 2014. All 56 passengers aboard were injured, some of them seriously. Picture courtesy of Alan Forkheim.

Michael Mui, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:42 PM ET

VANCOUVER — Nineteen injured passengers were released from hospital Friday after a bus crash near Merritt, B.C., Thursday afternoon, but seven were listed in critical condition.

That's up from five who were listed in critical earlier in the day.

Emergency workers arrived at the horrific scene Thursday afternoon, after the bus, carrying Asian tourists across the Rocky Mountains, flipped.

RCMP said footage from a dash-camera on a truck that was following the bus appears to indicate human or mechanical error — not speed — was the cause of the crash, according to local reports.

Police continued to investigate.

Calgarian Alan Forkheim was headed to Vancouver Island when he came upon the scene shortly after the crash.

"There were people all over the ditch, it looked really bad," he said. "It looks like the bus had slid and there's blood on the side of it."

Hospitals that took in the injured passengers were still at "code orange" — a high-alert mode to deal with mass casualties.

Of the injured remaining in hospital Friday, seven are in critical condition, six are in serious and 11 have non-life-threatening injuries.

The bus was leased from Western Bus Lines, for a tour organized by Super Vacation, based in Richmond, B.C., according to reports.

 


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