Hong Kong tourists ‘among 56 injured’ after tour bus flips on mountain highway in Canada

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 1:50pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 August, 2014, 3:26am

Hong Kong tourists may be among 56 people who were injured, several critically, when their tour bus hit a road divider and flipped over on a mountain highway in Canada.

Six people suffered life-threatening injuries and were airlifted to hospital after the accident on the Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia on Thursday afternoon.

Another 15 people were seriously injured, suffering broken bones and fractures, according to Canadian police. Thirty-five others suffered minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes and bruises.

Six helicopters and about 20 ambulances took the injured to the Royal Inland Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The tour bus was heading from the Okanagan Valley to Vancouver when it hit a barrier between lanes and flipped over, about 30km south of Merritt.

A female employee for Super Vacation, a travel agency based in British Columbia, confirmed the bus was from a four-day tour organised by her company.

"They [the passengers] include Chinese, Malaysians and other Asians," she told the South China Morning Post.

"The names of several tourists suggest they are from Hong Kong. But we have to confirm their identities and nationalities with our agencies."

The agency said the tour group left Vancouver on Monday for a four-day trip to the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

"They were returning to Vancouver when the crash happened," she said.

Hong Kong's Immigration Department said it had not received calls for assistance from Hongkongers but was in touch with the Chinese embassy in Vancouver.

One witness, Sue Gordon, told local media: "They [the passengers] were so scared. There were children and lots of screaming and crying. It was horrific."