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OTTAWA, September 18. (Itar-Tass). – A Via Rail passenger train collided with a double-decker bus on one of the highway crossings in Ottawa’s suburbs on Wednesday. According to preliminary data, ‘numerous victims’ are reported at least five people died.
All victims were located on the buys; it’s front part has been ripped off. Eyewitnesses report that passengers shouted at the driver to stop and let the train go. The crossing barrier was already lowered, warning lights indicating approaching train were flashing, but for some reason the bus driver did not stop.
One of the passengers, Gregory Mech, said: "I could see that there were bodies on the train tracks. It was horrible. There's just no other way to explain it. Some people were upset and crying. People were mentally stressed out. People were just trying to figure out what happened."
Ottawa Fire spokesman Mark Messier said their primary objective was assisting the injured, of which there was at least ten; six people were sent off to hospitals with severe injuries and blunt traumas. The total number of casualties is not yet determined.
After the collision, the train en route to Toronto derailed in about 60 meters from the crossing. Messier noted that train passengers were not injured.
The crossing is located in western part of Ottawa near Fallowfield station. Via Rail has temporarily shut down train traffic on this line.
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper