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Five French tourists killed in California bus crash

Video by FRANCE 2 , Rachel MARUSAK

Latest update : 2009-04-29

At least six people were killed and several others were injured after a tour bus crashed at an overpass south of San Francisco. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that five of the dead were French citizens.

AFP - At least five people were killed and dozens injured after a tour bus packed with passengers crashed on a busy northern California freeway, police said Tuesday.
  
California Highway Patrol officer Brian Wiest told reporters that passengers had been thrown from the bus after it crashed at an overpass near Soledad, 133 miles (213 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
  
At least one of the fatalities was a passenger who was hurled over a guardrail onto a freeway below the crash site, Wiest said.
  
Another source later told AFP that the four passengers who died were French citizens.
  
Television footage of the incident showed emergency crews carrying multiple bodybags from the crash, with the bus resting on its side.
  
"At this time we do know that we have four confirmed fatalities as a result of this traffic collision," Wiest said.
  
"Approximately 41 to 44 people were transported to local and area hospitals suffering from moderate to severe and major injuries."
  
The cause of the crash was unknown, Wiest said, adding that a team of accident investigators was poring over the wreckage.
  
Wiest described the accident as the worst he had ever seen. "I personally haven't seen anything this severe," he told reporters.
  
The crash comes several months after eight people died when a bus traveling in northern California last October overturned.
  
The driver of the bus -- which was carrying people traveling to a casino resort -- was later arrested for drunk driving.

Date created : 2009-04-29

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