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16 people taken to hospital, 3 in critical condition, after bus crash north of Prince George

Click to play video: 'Police investigate bus crash north of Prince George that sent 18 to hospital' Police investigate bus crash north of Prince George that sent 18 to hospital
WATCH: Police investigate bus crash north of Prince George that sent 18 to hospital – Nov 2, 2018

A bus crash in northern B.C. has sent multiple people to hospital.

BC Emergency Health Services (BC EHS) said 16 people were taken to hospital, three of them in critical condition, after a bus went off the road north of Prince George.

It happened on Highway 97 near Mitchell Road, shortly before 4 p.m.

BC EHS said the victims were all taken to hospital by ground ambulance, and that the uninjured passengers were transported back to Prince George.

READ MORE: Passengers injured after collision between truck and TransLink bus

The Prince George RCMP provided conflicting numbers on injuries.

“Three persons were initially transported to hospital with injuries, one of which was believed to be critical. The critically injured person has since been downgraded and is expected to fully recover,” said Cpl. Craig Douglass in an email.

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The scene of a bus crash on Highway 97, on Thursday afternoon. Bobby Zee

“The remaining passengers, up to 40, were transported to hospital by another bus to be checked by medical professionals,” he added.

Mounties said the bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash, and that the road was covered with slushy snow at the time.

READ MORE: ‘Oh my God’: bus passengers heard screaming in panic in Coquihalla crash video

Forestry company Canfor said the bus was a charter carrying employees from Prince George to its Polar sawmill in the Bear Lake area, and that 17 workers had been injured.

“The injured employees have been transported to the hospital. The accident is currently under investigation by the local authorities. Our focus is on supporting our injured employees and their families,” said Michelle Ward, director of corporate communications for Canfor.

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The road initially closed, but has since reopened to single-lane alternating traffic.

Investigators said it is too soon to say if weather was a contributing factor to the crash, but that it will form a part of the investigation.

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