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At least 5 dead as passenger train, bus collide in Ottawa

A Via Rail passenger train sits on the tracks at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario, after a collision with a city bus on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A Via Rail passenger train sits on the tracks at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario, after a collision with a city bus on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A Via Rail passenger train sits on the tracks at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario, after a collision with a city bus on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A Via Rail passenger train sits on the tracks at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario, after a collision with a city bus on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Officials respond to the scene where a city bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Officials respond to the scene where a city bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Officials respond to the scene where a city bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Officials respond to the scene where a city bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Officials respond to the scene where a city bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Officials respond to the scene where a city bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a crossing in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP

OTTAWA (AFP) - At least five people are dead after a Via Rail train and an Ottawa city bus collided at a level crossing in the city's south-west end Wednesday morning, according to Canada's CTV News.

Fire officials in Ottawa confirmed there have been "multiple fatalities" and at least a dozen injured.

"We had bodies and debris pretty much everywhere at the impact site," Ottawa Fire Service's Marc Messier told CTV News.

"It's too soon to tell if number (of fatalities) will rise," he added.

Mr Messier said all the casualties were on the bus. There were passengers on the Via train at the time of the crash, he said, but no injuries were reported on the train.

Canadian broadcasters showed images of the front of the bus sheered off and the train derailed. Witnesses recounted bus passengers being thrown from the bus.

VIA Rail, which operates the national passenger service in Canada, confirmed the crash and said there were no major injuries reported on the train.

Canada's two big railroads - Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway - are reviewing safety standards after a deadly train crash on July 6 that killed 50 people and destroyed the centre of a small Quebec town.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the victims of the deceased.

"Deeply saddened to hear about the bus-train collision in Ottawa this morning," he tweeted. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved."