Nine killed, dozens hurt after bus crashes down I-84 embankment - KPTV - FOX 12

Nine killed, dozens hurt after bus crashes down I-84 embankment

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PENDLETON, OR (KPTV) -

Nine people were killed and dozens more were hurt when a charter bus crashed through a guardrail and plummeted down a 200-foot embankment Sunday near Pendleton.

An icy, snowy roadway is being cited as a possible factor as to why the charter bus lost control near milepost 227 on Interstate 84 as it was heading westbound.

All 39 survivors on board the buses were taken to the hospital.

The stretch of road is called Cabbage Hill, but Oregon State Police said it's also known as "Deadman Pass."

The Oregon Department of Transportation has issued warnings to truck drivers about that area because of its extreme hills combined with treacherous weather during the winter.

Pendleton firefighters said they are called out to crashes on Cabbage Hill every winter, but this scene was still shocking to them.

"I've been a firefighter for 20 years and this is the first time I've seen anything like this," said Pendleton firefighter Steve Brost.

The bus was carrying foreign exchange students from South Korea, who are living with host families in Vancouver, B.C., and northwest Washington.

Oregon State Police said the bus was returning to British Columbia from a trip to Las Vegas when it crashed. The bus belongs to Mi Joo Tour and Travel out of Vancouver, B.C., according to investigators.

The company did not provide a comment when contacted by Fox 12.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Pendleton Convention Center Sunday evening. The organization was paying for hotels for the survivors who were released from the hospital.

One survivor at the shelter described the situation after returning from the hospital.

"Me and my brother got out of the bus and we saw many people spread in the snow," he said. "We find some people who alive, who died."

Many of the people who were onboard the bus do not speak English. Crews contacted a Korean translator in Pendleton who responded to help with the flow of communication.

"Without him, these victims may not have been able to communicate," said Red Cross spokeswoman Casey White-Zollman.

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