NEW CASTLE, Del. — A bus carrying dozens of passengers finishing up a sightseeing tour crashed and overturned in Delaware, leaving two women dead and several other passengers injured, authorities said.
The wreck did not involve other vehicles and happened around 4:20 p.m. Sunday in New Castle in the northern part of the state, south of Wilmington, officials said.
Forty-nine passengers on the bus when it was traveling on an exit ramp, and it was going through a curve when it left the road and overturned, according to a Delaware State Police news release. The bus slid on its roof down a grass embankment and came to rest on its left side, spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack said in the release.
Hua’y Chen, a 54-year-old woman from New York City, was found under the bus and was pronounced dead at the scene, Shavack said. Idil Bahsi, a 30-year-old woman from Istanbul, Turkey, was taken to a hospital and died Sunday night.
Other passengers were taken to hospitals for injuries varying in severity.
Investigators were interviewing the bus driver, 56-year-old Jinli Zhao, who was not critically injured, authorities said.
The passengers were taking a three-day sightseeing tour to Washington that began Friday in New York, authorities said. The crash happened as the bus was heading back to New York.
State police told The News Journal newspaper of Wilmington (http://delonline.us/1rdxqZm) there were no apparent witnesses outside the bus to the crash.
But Elvis D’cruz, 19, told The Associated Press he was driving in the area with a friend when he came upon the overturned bus. He said he and his friend pulled over and were there before first responders arrived.
“Everyone was in pain and crying out for help,” said D’cruz, a student at Penn State Brandywine in Pennsylvania.
He said the group of passengers included mostly adults, many of them speaking different languages including Hindi, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese.
“There was not one person without blood on them,” he said, adding that he and his friend handed out items from a first aid kit.
D’cruz said the bus had overturned on an off-ramp from Delaware’s Route 1 that is known for being steep.
Shavack said the bus belonged to Am USA Express Incorporated, a bus company based in New York.
Photographs taken at the scene showed the bus lying on the driver’s side on a grassy shoulder. The photographs showed at least two people with neck braces lying in the grass while a group of others were sitting nearby.
Video footage taken at the site showed emergency officials leaning over to attend the injured and placing victims on stretchers as ambulances and other emergency vehicles stood by. Debris was scattered about and a ladder had been set up alongside the overturned bus. Later photographs published online showed the bus had been righted.
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to open an investigation.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)