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Tragic Oregon Bus Crash Investigation Continues

Authorities in Vancouver, Canada, have joined with Oregon officials in the aftermath of the deadly bus crash that left nine people dead and dozens more injured.The tour bus crash occurred Sunday (Dec. 30, 2012) about 10 a.m. as it returned from a nine-day western tour that last stopped in Las Vegas, Nevada, before returning to Vancouver, Canada, the area where some of the passengers resided.  Other passengers were exchange students from South Korea or were residents of the state of Washington or British Columbia, Canada.  Police reported that the bus was operated by a tour company in British Columbia.The bus went through a guard rail and plummeted some 200 feet down a steep slope, ejecting many passengers as it rolled down the embankment, authorities told the media.  The crashed occurred on Interstate 84 about three and a half hours east of Portland, Oregon, at the top of a seven-mile descent in the Blue Mountains.It has been reported by the press that the bus driver wore a seat belt, but that it was not required for passengers to wear seat belts.  Authorities are said to be examining the speed of the bus and whether some passengers telling the media that the bus had been traveling too fast down the mountain was a factor in the crash.  The bus reportedly hit a concrete barrier on the interstate then veered across both westbound lanes before crashing through the guardrail and plummeting down the embankment.It also has been reported that the Canadian Royal Police are helping in contacting family members of those who have been killed.  Personal effects of many passengers were scattered about the scene through broken windows.  Many of the passengers spoke only Korean and language was a barrier to the relief efforts as well making the identification process slow.  The investigation into the cause of the crash is expected to take several weeks, authorities said. 

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