UTAH (PM) — A tour bus crashed Friday morning near Bryce Canyon National Park, killing at least four people.
“At least four fatalities confirmed,” UHP stated in a tweet.
UHP Sgt. Nick Street said there were “numerous injuries.” He did not offer more specifics.
Bryce Canyon National Park tweeted that the crash happened about 3 1/2 miles west of the park on State Road 12. It is a mountains road stretching from Torrey to the edge of the park. The highway is closed while the crash is investigated.
FOX 13 cited Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins as saying the bus, which had about 30 people aboard, went off the road.
The four deceased, all Chinese nationals, were Ling Geng, 68, Xiuyun Chen, 67, Zhang Caiyu, 62 and Zhongliang Caiyu, 65, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
All four were residents of Shanghai, China.
Five people remained in critical condition Saturday, a day after the crash. They were being treated at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. Five others at the hospital were in serious condition, while another individual had been discharged.
At Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, there were two patients registered in serious condition, according to a spokesperson for Intermountain Healthcare.
All 31 people on the bus at the time of the crash were hurt. Some on the bus were not wearing seat belts.
The bus had been headed into the park as part of a tour but began to veer off the road for an unexplained reason, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. The driver overcorrected and the bus tilted over, rolling over once, hitting a guardrail and landing halfway off the road.
Shortly after the crash, Utah Highway Patrol tweeted, “We are confirming the tourists are Chinese speaking tourists” and a reverse-911 message was sent to residents in Garfield County and other surrounding areas in Utah asking if Chinese-speaking translators would be available to help at the scene.
Officials with Southern Utah University, a college in Cedar City about 90 minutes from the crash scene, asked international students from China to help as translators.
In a tweet, the Chinese embassy in the U.S. thanked Utah authorities and wrote, “The Embassy has initiated its emergency protocols, sent personnel to the area and will assist the victims as need.”
An earlier tweet from UHP said: “Multiple Air ambulances and rescue crews have been dispatched.”