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'Multiple deaths' in Ottawa as bus and train collide

'Multiple deaths' in Ottawa as bus and train collide

 

Evan Dyer from CBC explains what is known about what happened

At least five people have been killed after a passenger train collided with a bus in Ottawa at a rail crossing, officials have said.

The crash between a double-decker bus and a Via Rail train occurred at the height of morning rush hour in Canada's capital city about 08:48 (12:48 GMT).

The front of the bus appeared to have been ripped off in the collision. Emergency workers are at the scene.

Several people have been taken to hospital with serious injuries.

There were no major injuries reported among the train passengers.

CBC news reporter Giacomo Panico tweeted this image from the scene of the Ottawa crash CBC News reporter Giacomo Panico tweeted this image from the scene

Rob Gencarelli, a student at Ottawa University, was on board the train when it crashed.

"All I felt was a bump and then I saw smoke, and then we were going off the tracks," he told the Canadian news channel CTV.

"I thought we were going to flip over. People were just shocked because it just happened so suddenly."

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the bus driver going into a lowered barrier.

"Boom! It went into the train like that. He just didn't stop,'' Pascal Lolgis was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

Another witness said the rail barrier was down.

"The train is going through. And I was just looking around, just watching things happen. And noticed that in the bus lane, the double-decker bus.

"I saw him, and he just kept going. He went through the guard rail and just hammered the train, and then it was just mayhem," Mark Cogan told AP.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper posted a message on Twitter saying he was "deeply saddened" and that his "thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved".

It is Canada's worst train accident since a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in a Quebec town in July, killing dozens of people.

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