Four killed, nine critical after tour bus crash on Seattle bridge

Firefighters assist victims after a crash between a bus and a tour vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in this picture from the Seattle Fire Department, in Seattle, Washington Sept 24, 2015.
Firefighters assist victims after a crash between a bus and a tour vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in this picture from the Seattle Fire Department, in Seattle, Washington Sept 24, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEATTLE (Reuters) - At least four people were killed and nine critically injured on Thursday (Sept 24) when an amphibious tour bus collided with a charter bus on a Seattle bridge, the city’s fire department said. 

About 50 people were evaluated for injuries after the crash on the Aurora Bridge, which goes over a canal linking Lake Union with the Puget Sound’s Shilshole Bay, the fire department said on Twitter. 

Local TV broadcast footage showed the front of the Ride the Ducks bus crumpled with debris on the ground from the impact with the other bus. Emergency personnel, including nearly 100 firefighters, were on the scene.

A witness to the crash, Ms Jesse Christenson, 32, saw the duck boat with its turn signal on trying to get in the left lane, and then it made a sharp move to the left.

“I initially thought it was a (tire) blow out. The duck boat then hit another car with a roof rack then went head on into the oncoming tour bus,” Ms Christenson told the Seattle Times newspaper. 

She added: “The scene was pretty gruesome ... There were people in shock.”

Four people were killed, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins told reporters. 

The majority of the significant injuries were from people who were on the tour bus, a fire department spokeswoman said. Two other passenger vehicles were involved in the crash, she said. 

Six patients were transported in critical condition to an area hospital and five more were expected there, a hospital spokeswoman said. Ten other patients were dispersed to other hospitals, she said.  The nature of the injuries was still being determined, she said. 

The accident comes nearly five months after an amphibious sightseeing vehicle hit and killed a woman on a Philadelphia street in May.

This is a developing story.