International students killed in Seattle bus crash

2015-09-25 09:38
A towing worker stands in front of a charter passenger bus that was involved in a fatal crash with a 'Ride the Duck's' tourist vehicle in Seattle. (Ted S Warren, AP)

A towing worker stands in front of a charter passenger bus that was involved in a fatal crash with a 'Ride the Duck's' tourist vehicle in Seattle. (Ted S Warren, AP)

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Seattle - At least four people were killed and several critically injured on Thursday when a school bus transporting foreign exchange students collided with a tour vehicle in the US West Coast city of Seattle, officials said.

Images of the fiery accident showed extensive damage to the left side of the bus, part of which was completely sheared off by the force of the crash.

Melissa Mixon, spokesperson for North Seattle College, told AFP that 45 foreign exchange students and staff with the school's international program were on board the bus.

She could not immediately provide information on the nationality or age of the victims.

"The accident occurred when a charter bus traveling with the students collided with a Ride the Duck tour vehicle," Mixon said.

Lieutenant Sue Stangl, of the Seattle fire department, told reporters that 50 people were evacuated from the scene of the accident, nine with critical injuries and 12 with non-life threatening injuries.

A fire official confirmed to an AFP correspondent at the scene that four people were killed in the crash that took place shortly after 11:00.

Stangl said most of the victims were on board the bus as were the majority of those injured.

Some of those on board the bus and the "Ride the Ducks", an amphibious vehicle used for tours in several US cities could be seen crawling out of the wreckage while others were carried away on stretchers.

Stangl said 90 firefighters rushed to the scene of the accident on Aurora Bridge, which was shut down to traffic.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fatal accident.

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