A passenger told CBC News Friday that a tour bus carrying 11 passengers hit a bump before sliding off a notorious stretch of a highway in southeastern British Columbia, killing two Taiwanese women and injuring two other women.
The women were among tourists from Taiwan and British Columbia who were on the small bus on a four-day sightseeing trip to Banffwhen it crashed on the Trans-Canada Highwayoutside Golden at about 6 p.m. PT Thursday, RCMP said on Friday.
Chi Lun Hung, a passenger on the bus,said that the passengers were watching a movie, when suddenly the bus hit a bump.
"I heard a sound — a 'bong'… The bus turned left, then turned right, then turned left and right and just [fell] down," Hung said.
After realizing what happened, Hung said, he began to search for his friends on the bus.
"I tried to find my friend, because my friend [went through] the window outside … she died," he said.
Victoria ESL students in crash
Kum Hung Su,a passenger on the bus,told CBC News that most of the passengers, includinga 26-year-old woman who died, were studyingEnglish as a second language inVictoria. The other victim was a 50-year-old woman.
Their names, as well as those of the injured,have not been released.
The bus, which can carry 24passengers,was navigating a curve and driving down a moderate hill when it hit a concrete barrier, rolled over it and slid down an embankment, coming to rest on its side,RCMP Cpl. John Gillensaid.
He said the road was bare and dry at the time of the crash.
The two women who were killed were thrown from the bus, which then rolled over them, Gillen said.
He said the wounded womenwere sentto hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening.
The names of the injured and dead have not been released, but police said the bus was owned and operated by Universal Coach Lines of Richmond, B.C.
The bushas been towed to Golden to be inspected for possible mechanical problems. Gillen said it's too early to say if charges will be laid.
Golden mayor wants highway expansion
The mayor of Golden, Jim Doyle, said the tragic accident nearRogers Pass underscores the need to keep up the pressure to improve the Trans-Canada Highway
Doyle said on Friday he won't be satisfied until the road is expanded to four lanes from Kamloops to Alberta. He said he also wants centre guards to divide east and west traffic.
Thursday's crash occurred just east of the Rogers Pass Summit, in the mountains about 70 kilometres west of Golden.
That stretch of road, which hugscliffs and winds through mountain passes, is picturesque, but known for taking lives. In 2000, a tour bus crashed on the stretch of road, killing six people.
Local residents have long called for improvements to the road.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood on the highway to announce a $2.2-billion transportation deal for B.C. Itincludes $64.2 million in upgrades to a 26-kilometre section of the road that includes thescene of Thursday's crash.