Bus rolls over south of Merritt; 5 critically injured

A tour bus carrying 56 passengers crashed about 30 km south of Merritt on Thursday at 3 p.m.

A tour bus rolled over on the Coquihalla Highway on Wednesday, approximately 30 km south of Merritt, B.C., leaving all 56 people on board with injuries.

The most recent reports say five people were left with critical injuries, 10 in serious condition, and 28 had non-life threatening injuries.

“We don’t have any fatalities listed yet and we’re just crossing our fingers and hoping for the best on that one,” said RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming.

Interior Health said injured passengers were sent to hospitals in Merritt, Kamloops, and Kelowna. The RCMP on Thursday said it was a single-vehicle accident and Fleming said all passengers on board were Asian.

The tour bus was being operated by Richmond-based Super Vacation, the “largest Chinese tour operator in North America,” according to the company’s website. The company’s profile says it was 15 branches and over 300 staff and calls its service “No. 1 among all the Asian tour operators” visiting the Rocky Mountains.

It’s our tour, yes,” Nick Kam, the company’s director for service, told The Canadian Press.

The Coquihalla Highway (Thompson/Nicole Highway 5) was closed for hours in both directions at exit 256. The highway was re-opened between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night, over four hours after the incident.

Just after 1 a.m. on Friday morning, Drive BC tweeted that both lanes of the Coquihalla were open and that there were no clear delays southbound.

Code Orange at Royal Inland Hospital

The Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops confirmed to Black Press around 4:30 p.m. that it was expecting to receive 40 patients and that it was under Code Orange, a response in preparation to receive a high number of patients.

A spokesperson for the hospital also said Royal Inland is bringing in extra staff to its critical care areas.

Global BC quoted an eyewitness, student Adam Hopewell, who described the scene:

“There were people under the bus. It looked really bad… We (saw) a big cloud of dirt, and it looked like the bus hit the meridian and tipped on the side, and it was upright with a whole bunch of scratches.”

Just after the incident, Global anchor Chris Gailus Tweeted the photo below with a witness caption, “Blood everywhere.”

Just Posted

B.C’s Indigenous tourism sector takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to embue the industry with authenticity

IIO seeks witness in Dodge Ram who may have seen fatality after Taser incident in Chilliwack

Second police watchdog release of vehicle images asking for driver/occupant to make contact

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Dying days for 25-bed mental health facility on Chilliwack/Abbotsford border

Closure of Mountain View criticized by NDP in opposition but hasn’t reversed Fraser Health decision

Chilliwack RCMP seek ID of man caught by bait car camera

Police say man is wanted for identity theft connected to incident downtown on Feb. 5

Local rock hound carves a 9-tonne granite grizzly bear

Chilliwack’s Paul McCarl’s about to complete a carving project 14 years in the making

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

B.C. landlords collect too much personal information, watchdog says

Report suggests low vacancy rates lead landlords to believe they can collect whatever info they want

The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus is hosting auditions for its 2018 Piano Extravaganza

Applications will be accepted until Apr. 2, and the winners will perform with the Symphony

Quebec daycare subsidies offer warning for B.C., study says

Over-55 women more likely to join paid workforce than young mothers

5 to start your day

A famous bunny sidelined in Chilliwack, multiple vehicles torched in Aldergrove and more

Travellers urged to be careful after Coquitlam agency’s licence yanked

Regulating body shut down Kimiya Travel Ltd. on Friday

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Most Read