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At least 8 dead, more than two dozen injured in tour bus crash

Photos: Highway 38 tour bus crash

At least eight people were killed Sunday night and more than two dozen injured when a tour bus crashed on a dark and narrow mountain road near Yucaipa, authorities said.

The accident, which involved a collision between the bus, a truck and a sedan, took place about 6:30 p.m. on California 38 just east of the town of Mentone on a route that leads to the Big Bear resort area, authorities said.

Some people were ejected from the bus, while others were trapped inside. Because of the severity of the accident, it was difficult for rescue workers to immediately idenfity exactly how many people were killed.

PHOTOS: Highway 38 tour bus crash

California Highway Patrol Spokesman Mario Lopez said that all of the known fatalities appeared to come from the bus, which was a charter carrying 38 passengers, including children and one driver.

Firefighters set up a triage area on the ground next to where the big white bus had come to rest, as rescuers from at least eight different agencies worked to stabilize and transport the wounded.

It took firefighters more than two hours to extricate all the injured people from the bus. Twenty-seven people in all were transported to area hospitals, at least six of them in critical condition, officials said. Some of the injured were children.

The cause of the accident was unknown, said Eric Sherwin, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

“Investigation into the cause hasn’t even begun, because patient treatment and transport takes priority,” Sherwin said.

The name of the bus company and information about the victims were not immediately available.

Herbert Atienza, a spokesman for Loma Linda University Medical Center, said the hospital received four victims from the crash -- two adults and two children. One adult and one child are in critical condition, he said. Atienza said no more information about the victims was available.

“We’re expecting more people from the crash,’’ he said Sunday evening.

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Photo: Emergency crews work at the accident scene along California 38 near Yucaipa. Some people were ejected from the bus, while others were trapped inside. It took firefighters more than two hours to extricate all the injured people from the bus. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
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