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B.C. tour bus crash leaves three in critical condition

A towing company employee stands by as a tour bus that rolled over and crashed on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt, B.C., Thursday, is moved during an investigation at a towing company lot in Kelowna, on Friday August 29, 2014. Dozens of the 56 people on the bus were injured, seven are listed in critical condition, six others are serious and 11 have non life-threatening injuries.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Three passengers remain in critical condition several days after their tour bus travelling south along British Columbia's Coquihalla Highway hit a median, skidded across several lanes of traffic and rolled into a ditch.

But many of the other passengers who were ejected from the bus during last Thursday's accident are now faring much better. Health officials in British Columbia announced on the weekend that almost half of the passengers taken to hospitals in the interior have been released. Two remain in serious condition.

All 56 passengers aboard the bus suffered injuries, including seven who were in critical condition on Friday morning. Many were visiting Canada from the United States, China and Japan and were on their final day of a tour through the Canadian Rockies when the bus suddenly rolled over.

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Investigators with the RCMP continue to pore over the physical evidence. In a statement on the weekend, the RCMP said road conditions were bare and dry and visibility was clear at the time of the accident. Investigators have ruled out speed and highway engineering as contributing factors.

The RCMP are conducting a mechanical inspection on the bus.

RCMP Constable Brodie Ferris said on Sunday there does not appear to be anything "mechanically related" with the bus but investigators have not determined what role, if any, human error played. "It's a little premature to make any determination that way at all," he said .

The bus company has not responded to requests for comment from The Globe and Mail.

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About the Author

Karen Howlett is a national reporter based in Toronto. She returned to the newsroom in 2013 after covering Ontario politics at The Globe’s Queen’s Park bureau for seven years. Prior to that, she worked in the paper’s Vancouver bureau and in The Report on Business, where she covered a variety of beats, including financial services and securities regulation. More

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