May 21, 2007 in Nation/World

Bus crash kills 2, injures 32

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

This tour bus was towed from where it flipped onto its side Sunday near Clearfield, Pa., killing two and injuring 32.
(Full-size photo)

A bus veered off a highway and crashed in central Pennsylvania early Sunday, killing two people and injuring 32 others, authorities said.

The bus was eastbound on Interstate 80 with 36 people on board when it crashed six miles west of Clearfield around 3:30 a.m., state police said.

The bus ran off the right side of the two-lane highway before veering left across the roadway, running up an embankment and flipping onto its side in a grassy area, Trooper Jamie Levier said at an afternoon news conference.

Thirty-two people ranging in age from a toddler to a 50-year-old were treated for wounds including lung and abdominal injuries, hospital officials said.

Investigators initially had difficulty piecing together what happened because most of the passengers were Chinese and did not speak English, Trooper Terry Jordan said. An interpreter was brought in as authorities worked to identify the victims.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Wayward whales returning to ocean

Two whales that took a wrong turn and swam 90 miles inland to California’s capital were heading back toward the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, according to the Coast Guard.

The humpback mother and her calf started moving southwest and were about five miles back down the Sacramento River late Sunday afternoon, Petty Officer Brian Leshak said.

The wayward pair were being followed by nine vessels carrying Coast Guard officers and wildlife officials to make sure they did not reverse course.

“Nothing triggered it. They just started moving on their own,” Leshak said.

If the whales maintain their current speed and direction, the pair would be just east of San Francisco Bay some time after midnight, Leshak said.

The whales still have a long way to go and obstacles to overcome if they maintain their course. Officials said there are sloughs leading to muddy deltas that could trap the injured whales, which appear to have been wounded by a ship’s propeller.

Carrie Wilson, a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game, said boats have been positioned at the mouths of tributaries where the whales could possibly go off course. The human escorts will bang pipes and hammers underwater to discourage the whales from going off course again, she said by phone Sunday from the deck of a boat following the pair.


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