Double-decker bus crash in Ottawa kills 3, injures at least 20

Police and first responders work at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter in Ottawa on Jan. 11 2019

Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau said the bus driver was arrested at the scene and taken in for questioning, but he declined to provide further details.

Ottawa Police say that the accident took place at 3:50 p.m.at Westboro Station.

"The upper deck on the bus was compromised and several people were trapped on the upper level for a period of time", the news release said.

OC Transpo has issued notices saying detours are in effect for the Dominion and Westboro transit stations.

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Ottawa Police said in a statement its collision investigation unit was on scene and is investigating.

The Ottawa Hospital said seven of its patients are in critical condition, and nine are in stable condition, across both campuses. Bordeleau said the Ottawa Paramedic Service and Ottawa Fire Services worked the scene in partnership with the Ottawa Police.

John Manconi, the general manager of OC Transpo, which runs Ottawa's public transit system, said that at least 90 people could have been on the bus.

The investigation will take a long time and likely will mean the closure of the busway and nearby roads for at least many hours, Bordeleau said. Investigators were set to stay at the scene throughout Friday night, with temperatures expected to drop to minus 22 degrees Celsius (minus 7.6 degrees Fahrenheit) through Saturday.

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Officials from Transport Canada and Ontario's Ministry of Transportation are also investigating. "And there was a bit of blood on the floor", Bilal Gill said. The driver was questioned by police, he said.

"A lot of people started screaming, people at the front who got pinned under their seats". "It was chaos at first".

Witnesses told local media the OC Transpo Route 269 bus swerved moments before slamming into the bus shelter overhang at the Westboro station west of downtown.

The family reunification centre at the Churchill Seniors Centre has since been closed, but people seeking information about family members involved in Friday's crash can call the Canadian Red Cross at 1-855-797-8875.

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