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Rock slide ruled out: No cause yet for bus crash that killed three near glacier

Last Updated Jul 20, 2020 at 3:16 pm MDT

A tourist bus rolled near Jasper, killing three and injuring 24 people, July 18, 2020. (Photo submitted by Angela Bye)
Summary

Efforts are underway to remove the off-road vehicle, but it could take several days


RCMP say getting updates from the scene is difficult due to unreliable cellular service in the mountains


24 people were taken to hospital and police say four are still in critical condition


JASPER, Alta. — RCMP say no cause has been found yet for a tourist bus rollover near a glacier in Jasper National Park that killed three people and injured 24.

Officers have, however, ruled out a rock slide.

Mounties say they remain at the Columbia Icefield between Banff and Jasper with a collision reconstructionist, occupational health and safety personnel, Parks Canada, and removal crews.

Twenty-four people were taken to hospital and police say four are still in critical condition and one is in serious condition.

RCMP confirmed the victims who lost their lives were a 24-year-old woman from Canoe Narrows, Sask.; a 28-year-old woman from Edmonton; and a 58-year-old man from India.

RCMP say getting updates from the scene is difficult due to unreliable cellular service in the mountains, but he says the Ice Explorer apparently rolled, and that critically injured patients were taken to Calgary by air and ground ambulances.

READ MORE: Tour company investigating glacier bus crash that killed three in Columbia Icefields

Alberta RCMP say efforts are underway to remove the Ice Explorer vehicle, but it could take several days.

“The removal of the vehicle is a large undertaking due to the challenges involved with the area where it came to rest,” said Alberta RCMP in a statement.

The iconic red and white coaches, which look like buses with monster-truck tires, regularly take tourists up a rough road onto the Athabasca Glacier.

Tanya Otis, a spokeswoman for Pursuit, the company that runs the ice explorers, says one of the off-road vehicles overturned early in the afternoon on its way to the Athabasca Glacier and that the company is supporting the efforts of first responders.

STARS air ambulance spokeswoman Fatima Khawaja says it sent choppers from its bases in Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Prairie.

READ MORE: 3 dead, 24 injured in Columbia Icefields bus rollover

Highway 93 North, also known as the Icefields Parkway, remains open, but people are being asked to stay clear of the collision area so police and emergency workers have room to work.

-with files from Kareem Gouda and The Canadian Press