OTTAWA, Ontario — Passengers screamed “Stop! Stop!” seconds before their bus crashed through a crossing barrier and into a commuter train during morning rush hour in Canada’s capital on Wednesday, killing six people and injuring 34.
“He smoked the train,” witness Mark Cogan said of the bus driver, who was among those killed. “He went through the guard rail and just hammered the train, and then it was just mayhem.”
It was not immediately clear what caused the bus to smash through the lowered barrier at a crossing in suburban Ottawa.
Tanner Trepanier said he and other passengers could see the four-car train bearing down on them as the bus approached the crossing.
“People started screaming, ‘Stop! Stop!’ because they could see the train coming down the track,” Trepanier said.
But the driver didn’t slow down, said Rebecca Guilbeault, who was on the bus with her 1-year-old son.
“I don’t know if the bus driver blacked out,” she said. “I’ve seen a few people dead, someone ripped in half.”
Another passenger, Gregory Mech, said the train crossing has about a 90-degree bend and he didn’t think the driver saw that the signals were flashing and the barrier was down.