PENDLETON, Ore. – Nine people are dead and at least 20 others were injured when a charter bus slid on ice and crashed down an embankment on Interstate 84 near Pendleton Sunday morning, police said.
Just before 10:30 a.m., a charter bus carrying around 40 people lost control on the icy westbound lanes of the interstate. The bus then crashed through a guardrail near milepost 227 and went down an embankment, said Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police.
The bus traveled an estimated couple hundred feet before coming to a rest, Hastings said.
Crews trained for rope rescues were at the scene helping retrieve people from the crashed bus.
St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton confirmed 18 patients were brought in Sunday. Some patients were taken by air to other hospitals due to the severity of thier injuries, Hastings said.
The bus was reportedly a charter from Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Vancouver, British Columbia and was en route to British Columbia from Las Vegas.
The victims names were not released pending notification of their families.
Multiple emergency crews from different agencies were on the scene and three medical aircraft were standing by at the Pendleton-area airport to transport people to hospitals.
Westbound lanes were closed in the La Grande area.
The bus crash was the second fatal crash in northeast Oregon on Sunday morning, due to icy conditions. A 69-year-old man died in a rollover accident at about 7:30 a.m. on I-84 near Stanfield.
KGW will update this story as more information becomes available.