Fire Fighting in Canada

Headlines News
Witnesses say Ottawa bus appeared to ignore train signals

Sept. 18, 2013, Ottawa – Police say multiple people have been killed and many more injured in a devastating crash between a Via Rail train and a double-decker city bus in Ottawa's west end.

September 18, 2013
By The Canadian Press

Sept. 18, 2013, Ottawa – Police say multiple people have been killed and many more injured in a devastating crash between a Via Rail train and a double-decker city bus in Ottawa's west end.

The collision at a level crossing took place at the peak of the morning commute.

Photos posted to Twitter by witnesses at the scene showed the OC Transpo bus with its entire front end sheared completely off.

Witnesses say the bus appeared to ignore warning signals at the crossing.

Advertisment

Via Rail said there were no major injuries reported on the train, but it suspended its Ottawa-Toronto service.

Pascal Lolgis, who witnessed the crash, said the bus appeared to drive through a lowered crossing barrier.

"Boom! It went into the train like that," Lolgis said. "He didn't stop. He must have lost his brakes. Or he had an … attack or whatever.

"He just didn't stop. He just keep going like that. Then he get hit."

Another witness, Mark Cogan, said the rail barrier was down.

"The train is going through," Cogan said. "And I was just looking around, just watching things happen. And noticed that in the bus lane, the double-decker bus … I saw him and he just kept going.

"I just thought maybe there's a side way around or something but instantly he just … he smoked the train. He went through the guard rail and just hammered the train and then it was just mayhem."

Rescue crews swarmed over the mangled wreckage bus as ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles flooded the scene.

Walking injured from the bus were taken to a second bus on the opposite side of the tracks to be treated by paramedics.

The accident occurred just outside a suburban Via station in the west end.

The train tracks in the area cross both a major city street and a transit line reserved for buses only.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne posted a message on Twitter: "Thinking of all families affected by horrible accident in Ottawa. Thanks to first responders on the scene."

Tweeted Treasury Board President Tony Clement: "Thoughts and prayers over the OC Transpo and train collision. Awful news."