Tour bus crash kills at least 8 in S. California

CAPTION:?Police work at the site of the traffic accident on State Highway 38 near Yucaipa, approximately 130 km east of downtown Los Angeles, in southeastern California, the United States, Feb. 4, 2013. At least eight people were killed and more than two dozen others wounded in southeastern California on Sunday evening when a tour bus crashed into other vehicles on a mountain highway. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

At least eight people were killed and more than two dozen others wounded in southeastern California on Sunday evening when a tour bus crashed into other vehicles on a mountain highway.

The deadly crash happened at 6:30 p.m. local time (0230 GMT Monday) on State Highway 38 near Yucaipa, approximately 130 km east of downtown Los Angeles.

The bus, carrying 43 people on board, rear-ended a truck trailer and a smaller vehicle, local media reported.

At least 15 people have life-threatening injuries and seven have non-life-threatening injuries, San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Ronald Walls told Ktla.com.

Some of the occupants could be Mexican nationals, according to the report. An official with the Mexican consulate was at the scene.

The authorities have sent a dozen ambulances and fire engines to the crash site, and medics have transported the wounded to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Due to harsh conditions in the hilly area where the stretch of the highway lies, the rescue efforts turned out to be strenuous, as occupants were extricated from the white bus and emergency personnel rushed to triage the victims.

The highway, which leads to Big Bear, a popular resort for Southern Californians, remained closed for several miles around the accident.

The bus had originated in Tijuana, Mexico, and was on its way down the hill from Big Bear when the crash occurred.

The bus is from Scapadas Magicas LLC, a company registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation as being located in National City, California, according to local media outlet PE.co

-Xinhua