Bus accident in British Columbia hospitalizes more than 50 people, officials say
A bus accident in southern British Columbia, Canada, on Christmas Eve has left more than 50 people hospitalized, officials say.
Medical teams at three area hospitals are treating at least 53 individuals, according to local health authority Interior Health, which said late Saturday the accident on Highway 97C triggered a “Code Orange” response – a hospital designation used for disasters or a mass casualty event.
“We are not in a position to provide patient conditions at this time,” Interior Health said in an update on social media. “We will make every effort to connect families with patients as soon as possible.”
The accident occurred on Highway 97C-Okanagan Connector between Merritt and Kelowna, according to a joint statement from British Columbia Premier David Eby and other government leaders. The area is roughly 100 km. (62 mi.) north of the Canada-US border.
“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the crash, their loved ones, and the first responders and health-care workers giving their all to treat people and keep them safe,” the statement said.
The cause of the accident is unknown at this time.
An information line has been set up for families to locate their loved ones involved in the accident, Interior Health said.