Coquihalla tour bus crash: Almost half of those taken to hospitals released

A Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officer watches as a tour bus that rolled over and crashed on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt on Thursday, is moved during an investigation at a towing company lot in Kelowna on Friday August 29, 2014.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

MERRITT - Almost half of the passengers taken to hospitals after a tour bus flipped over on the Coquihalla Highway have been released.

Interior and Fraser health authorities say 26 of the 55 people taken to hospital have been discharged.

The Interior Health Authority says three people are in critical condition, and two more are being treated for serious injuries — a significant decrease from the last update.

On Friday, seven people were listed in critical condition, while six others were being treated for serious injuries.

The bus crashed Thursday afternoon 30 kilometres from Merritt while it was returning from a tour of the Rocky Mountains. The passengers were from Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States.

The vehicle was carrying a 56-person tour group organized by Super Vacation, a company based in Richmond, which describes itself as the largest Chinese tour operator in North America.

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the accident, but have ruled out speed and road conditions.

A phone line has been established by the Red Cross to direct family members of victims to the hospitals where they are staying. (1-888-350-6070).

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