Pendleton, OR, United States (4E) – Nine people died Sunday morning after a charter bus with foreign exchange students on board skidded on ice and slammed through a guardrail before falling several hundred feet on a highway’s steep embankment in Pendleton, Oregon.
According to authorities, nine people were killed and several people have been transported to a nearby hospital after the bus crashed on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton.
KPTV reported that 39 people were brought to an area hospital while CNN stated that at least 26 people were taken for treatment to the St. Anthony Hospital and five of them were later transferred to another hospital.
Police said the driver was severely injured and has yet to be interviewed by the authorities.
Emergency responders, including professional rope teams and medical aircrafts, arrived to help move the victims.
Pendleton Fire Chief Gary Woodson told Fox 12 there were 48 people on board the bus that is traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia, from a Las Vegas, Nevada when the accident happened.
The bus, operated by Mi Joo Tour & Travel, was transporting foreign exchange students from South Korea who reside with host families in Vancouver, B.C., and Northwest Washington.
Officials stated the accident is under investigation.
The westbound lanes of I-84 near the scene of the accident remained closed during the rescue and recovery effort.
The Red Cross has provided a shelter for the survivors who have been released from the hospital.