A devastating bus accident in Utah on Friday has claimed at least four lives.
A tour bus carrying 30 passengers, including the driver, ran off Highway 12 and rolled into a guardrail shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Friday, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook later that day.
The bus was transporting Chinese tourists near Bryce Canyon National Park, an area known for its gorgeous scenery about 270 miles south of Salt Lake City. The sheriff’s office described the accident as “horrible.”
Four passengers were pronounced dead, and the rest of those on the bus were taken to nearby hospitals, the sheriff’s office said, adding that three helicopters were dispatched to the scene, and “multiple agencies were involved.”
Between 12 and 15 of those wounded had “critical injuries,” the Utah Highway Patrol said in a tweet, and 10 more had minor injuries.
“Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all those who assisted in helping on the bus accident,” the sheriff’s office said in another Facebook post, shared about an hour later. “There are so many counties out there who helped. We want to thank all the people who assisted also. It is amazing to see everyone work together. The compassion everyone had. Your [sic] are all amazing.”
Utah Highway Patrol is currently investigating the accident, the sheriff’s office said.
“We are saddened to hear about the accident in Utah involving a bus carrying Chinese tourists,” the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. tweeted on Friday. “We are thankful to authorities in Utah for their assistance. The Embassy has initiated its emergency protocols, sent personnel to the area, and will assist the victims as needed.”
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Utah’s Governor, Gary Herbert, echoed the sentiments of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Chinese Embassy, saying in a tweet that his “heart sank when I heard the news that a tour bus crashed near Bryce Canyon.”
Hie tweet continued: “I grieve with all who lost loved ones in this crash and I’m grateful for the quick work of first responders, as well as all those who are volunteering to act as translators.”