Two people have been killed after a bus carrying students from the University of Victoria crashed en route to the Marine Sciences Centre at Bamfield.
The bus, carrying 48 people including the driver, rolled over around the 36-kilometre marker near the Carmanah Main Junction on a gravel road, at around 10 p.m. on Friday, RCMP told Black Press Media.
Three people had been airlifted to Victoria General Hospital – two in critical condition, one in serious condition, said officials with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and BC Emergency Health Services.
The remaining victims were taken to a reception centre at Echo Centre, set up by the City of Port Alberni, to be bused back to Victoria.
Officials with @cityportalberni and the RCMP expected to give an update later this morning. Here are some of the students arriving at the reception centre, waiting to be bused back to Victoria. No update on the status of the third patient transported to hospital. pic.twitter.com/i6oaW9QBD9
— Alberni Valley News (@AlberniNews) September 14, 2019
Two helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft from 442 Squadron Comox were deployed to assist the Port Alberni RCMP, paramedics, and firefighters.
“Last night was tough,” the Port Alberni Fire Department said in a tweet Saturday morning.
“Unfortunately, two passengers perished on-scene. Our thoughts are with the family and friends affected.”
Last night was tough. A bus carrying @uvic students crashed on #BamfieldMain. Resources from #PAFD, @BC_EHS, RCMP & @RCAF_ARC all responded in force. Unfortunately, 2 passengers perished on-scene. Our thoughts are with the family & friends affected. #portalberni #bamfield #uvic pic.twitter.com/THbn1h0dg2
— Port Alberni Fire (@portalbernifire) September 14, 2019
It’s not clear what caused the bus to crash. Weather may have been a factor, with the heavy rain.
Family members looking for information can call RCMP at 250-723-2424.