Passengers escape through roof hatch after OC Transpo bus flips in collision | CBC News


Six passengers crawled to safety through the roof hatch of an OC Transpo bus after a two-vehicle collision that caused the bus to flip and land in a ditch, according to officials.

Emergency crews were called to the area of Leitrim and Bowesville roads near the Macdonald–Cartier International Airport just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday for the collision involving an OC Transpo bus and another vehicle.

While the passengers made their way to safety, firefighters crawled into the bus to check on the driver.

“A few of them went into that same roof hatch back into the bus to go and assess the driver for injuries,” said Nick DeFazio, public information officer for Ottawa Fire Services.

“He was trapped and unable to exit on his own.”

After making a plan, the crew then cut through the windshield to rescue the driver about 10 minutes later, DeFazio said.

DeFazio said firefighters arriving on scene described the road conditions at the time as “pure ice — it was described to be like a hockey rink.”

“It was extremely dangerous driving conditions [last night],” he said, adding that the crew responded to several crashes due to weather. “It was a busy stretch … when there was that flash freeze.”

Driver tried to avoid head-on crash, OC Transpo says

Seven people including the driver were aboard the Route 99 bus when it veered off the road Sunday night, according to OC Transpo. Paramedics had originally told CBC there were five passengers plus the driver.

“Early reports indicate that the bus operator attempted to avoid a head-on collision with another oncoming vehicle,” Katrina Camposarcone-Stubbs, a public information officer with OC Transpo, wrote in a statement to CBC Monday afternoon.

She said the transit agency is conducting an internal safety investigation.

Everyone on the bus was assessed at the scene and refused to be taken to hospital, according to paramedics.

The driver was the only person in the other vehicle, according to Ottawa police. 

Paramedics said that person was not taken to hospital either.

A second OC Transpo bus was brought in to keep people warm.

Firefighters spread an absorbent material on fluids that were leaking from the bus.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Ottawa police said they believe road conditions were a factor.

At the time, both OPP and Ottawa police warned drivers of icy roads as the temperature dropped and rain earlier in the day had turned to snow.


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