August 29, 2014 1:55 pm

Number in critical condition from Coquihalla crash increases to seven

The number of people in critical condition following yesterday’s bus accident on the Coquihalla Highway has increased from five to seven.

The Interior Health Authority says that 24 people remain in hospital – nine at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and an additional 15 at Kelowna General. Of those, seven are critical condition, six are in serious condition, and 11 have non-life-threatening injuries.

There is no word on what the specific injuries are, the ages or genders, or if the driver is one of the patients.

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READ MORE: Seven in critical condition after tour bus crashes on Coquihalla

The bus, which was operated by a Chinese tour company Super Vacation Canada, rolled over about 30 kilometres south of Merritt, B.C., on Thursday afternoon, sending 55 people to various hospitals in the Interior and Fraser Valley.

Why the crash happened remains a mystery. Earlier today, the RCMP said they obtained video from the dashboard camera of a tractor-trailer that observed the crash, and it appears to rule out speed as a factor.

RCMP Sgt. Brian Nightingale says that leaves mechanical problems or human error as possible causes.

PHOTO GALLERY: Tour bus crash near Merritt. Warning – some pictures are graphic  

He says tire marks show the bus drifted into the grassy centre median of the highway, and he says the bus apparently veered out of control as the driver tried to correct its course.

Super Vacation Canada spoke at their Richmond offices this morning, and said they feel “really badly” about the crash. However, they said the bus was operated by a charter bus company, which they have done business with before.

“The driver is very experienced,” they said at the press conference, adding they wouldn’t do business with the charter bus company until the police report on the crash is released.

WATCH: A look at the bus company involved in the crash

– With files from The Canadian Press

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