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9 die as tour bus crashes on icy Oregon highway

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 31, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.

— The stretch of rural Oregon interstate where a tour bus crashed through a guardrail and plummeted 100 feet down a steep embankment is so notorious that state transportation officials have published a specific advisory warning of its dangers.

Nine people were killed and more than two dozen injured when the charter bus veered out of control about 10:30 a.m. Sunday on snow- and ice-covered lanes of Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon, according to the Oregon State Police.

The bus crashed near the start of a 7-mile section of road that winds down a hill. It came to rest at the bottom of a snowy slope, landing beaten and battered but upright with little or no debris visible around the crash site.

The East Oregonian said it spoke with two South Korean passengers, ages 16 and 17. Both said through a translator that they were seated near the rear of the bus when it swerved a few times, hit the guardrail and flipped. They described breaking glass and seeing passengers pinned by their seats as the bus slid down the hill. Both said that they feared for their lives.

The paper said that the teens, one of whom injured a knee and the other suffered a broken collarbone, were staying at a hotel arranged by the Red Cross.

The bus had been carrying about 40 people.

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