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13 killed as tourist coach hits truck in California

Published 23/10/2016

Emergency services work at the scene of the crash on Interstate 10, near Palm Springs, California (AP)
Emergency services work at the scene of the crash on Interstate 10, near Palm Springs, California (AP)

At least 13 people have died in a road crash in California involving a tourist bus and a lorry.

Police said another 31 people were injured in the crash, which occurred on Interstate 10 just north of Palm Springs early on Sunday local time.

A police spokesman said the USA Holiday tour bus was returning to Los Angeles after a visit to the Red Earth Casino in Thermal, California, when it ran into the back of the truck.

The bus was said by officials to have been travelling far faster than the truck, but it is not known if it was speeding.

The driver of the bus is believed to be the owner of USA Holiday.

Police said it is not yet known if alcohol, drugs or fatigue played a role in the accident. The bus was inspected in 2014, 2015 and this year and no mechanical issues were found.

The front of the bus had crumpled into the back of the truck's trailer, with debris scattered across the road.

Firefighters used ladders to climb through the bus windows to remove bodies while tow trucks lifted the trailer to make it easier to reach them.

California Highway Patrol's Jim Abele confirmed that the bus driver had been killed. The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries.

Passengers told officials that most people were asleep when the crash occurred at 5.17am local time. Mr Abele said he does not believe the 1996 bus had seat belts.

Press Association

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