Seventeen Hong Kong tourists escaped injured but alive after their bus flipped and landed upside down on a windswept section of expressway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. All the passengers from the Wing On tour - nine men, six women and two boys aged three and seven - were hurt. Helicopters airlifted the group and the driver, travelling from Las Vegas, to three hospitals where they were treated for injuries described as minor to moderate, including broken bones. The accident happened near the city of Yermo, northeast of Los Angeles, at about 9.30 am on Tuesday (early yesterday Hong Kong time). The California Highway Patrol said the bus was travelling at about 130km/h but the speed limit was 100 km/h. The driver said she lost control while being buffeted by high winds, which were gusting at 50 km/h. Alex Lee Chun-ting, general manager of Wing On Travel, dismissed reports the driver had been speeding. 'Unlike some of the countries in Southeast Asia, travelling in the US has been very safe and all our staff have observed safety codes strictly. 'It is purely an accident which was unavoidable. In fact, we are all puzzled by the strange wind,' he said. Shaken passenger David Ho said: 'The bus turned and turned and turned and then turned over.' Mr Lee quoted the tour guide as saying: 'The wind was extremely strong. It was just like someone was pushing the bus over.' The passengers will fly back to Hong Kong with a doctor. They are scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Mr Lee said all the passengers had bought travel insurance. The cost of the package tour would be refunded partly for the cancelled programme, he said. The Travel Industry Council said assistance would be offered to the passengers when needed.