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Remaining patients from deadly B.C. bus crash expected to live: Interior Health

Four people died in the fatal Christmas Eve crash
The scene of the Christmas Eve bus crash along the Okanagan Connector, which sent dozens of people to hospital and killed four of them. (Skilled Truckers Canada/Facebook)

All of the remaining patients in hospital from a deadly Christmas Eve bus crash in British Columbia are expected to survive, according to an Interior Health official.

Michaela Swan, a spokeswoman for the health authority, says seven people who were brought to three hospitals after the bus rolled on the Highway 97C Okanagan Connector on Saturday evening are still patients, down from eight on Sunday.

Two patients had been listed in serious condition on Sunday, but Swan said their conditions have since improved.

Four people died and dozens of others were injured in the crash east of Merritt near the Loon Lake exit, which police have said they suspect was caused by extremely icy road conditions.

Police have not released the names of those who died.

Swan says she doesn’t have numbers on how many health-care staff were called in, but says many came in without being asked.

“What we did hear from the front line was just that initial heart-sinking feeling when you hear about this accident and the impacts to those potential patients and their families,” Swan said.

“It actually caused Interior health staff and physicians just to respond to the sites knowing you’re going to need all hands on deck.”

Interior Health implemented a Code Orange response — signalling a disaster or mass-casualty event — in the hours following the crash.

Police have said the road conditions were described “as very poor with ice and snow on the road surface along with rain and hail falling.”

The icy roads weren’t enough to keep the company whose bus was involved in the crash, Ebus, from running its B.C. routes on Saturday, but it did cancel all its trips on Monday. Ebus blamed “deteroriating weather conditions” in a social media post then. It said service will resume Tuesday (Dec. 27).

Investigators have asked anyone who witnessed the collision or who has dashcam video of the bus before the crash to please contact their local RCMP detachment.

The Canadian Press

-With files from Black Press Media

READ ALSO: Phones wanted for those in hospital after Christmas Eve bus crash on Okanagan Connector

READ ALSO: 4 dead after bus rollover on B.C.’s Okanagan Connector on Christmas Eve

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