At least four dead, 12 critically injured, in Utah tour bus crash

(Reuters) - A bus carrying Chinese-speaking tourists crashed on Friday near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, killing at least four people and critically injuring at least a dozen others, the state Highway Patrol reported.

Reuters September 21, 2019 04:12:45 IST
At least four dead, 12 critically injured, in Utah tour bus crash

At least four dead 12 critically injured in Utah tour bus crash

(Reuters) - A bus carrying Chinese-speaking tourists crashed on Friday near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, killing at least four people and critically injuring at least a dozen others, the state Highway Patrol reported.

Circumstances of the crash, which occurred at about 11:30 a.m. local time on State Route 12 just west of the park, were not immediately known, state Highway Patrol spokesman Corporal Chris Bishop said.

But Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock told KSL-TV, a local NBC affiliate station, that the bus went off the road near Bryce Canyon Pines lodge.

“This is pretty overwhelming for a little county of 4,900 people,” he said to the station. “This is just horrible for us, and we feel terrible for those who are injured and their families.”

Bishop said the Highway Patrol was confirming at least four fatalities, in addition to 12 to 15 people who were critically injured, and said it was possible the death toll would rise.

The stretch of highway where the crash occurred was shut in both directions as authorities began investigating the cause of the accident, and it likely will remain closed "for some time," Bishop said.

All or most of the passengers aboard the bus were Chinese-speaking tourists, but their nationalities had not immediately been determined, according to Bishop.

It was also unclear whether the tour bus at the time was headed to or from Bryce Canyon, located about 270 miles (435 km) south of Salt Lake City.

The national park, occupying 55 square miles (14,245 hectares) of southern Utah, is best known for its giant, spired, multi-hued rock formations, or hoodoos, and attracts some 2 million visitors a year.

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Chris Reese, Tom Brown and Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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