Double-decker bus slams into Illinois bridge

7:23 PM, Aug 2, 2012   |    comments
  • Twenty ambulances and two medevac choppers responded to the scene where a Megabus crashed into a bridge pillar in Illinois Thursday afternoon. (Credit: KLMOV)
  • A Double-decker Megabus crashed into bridge pillar on Interstate 55 Thursday afternoon. (Credit: KLMOV)
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(CBS/AP) LITCHFIELD, Ill. - A double-decker Megabus has crashed into a concrete bridge pillar along Interstate 55 in southern Illinois, killing at least one of the up to 81 people on board.

At least 25 people were injured, some critical, in the Thursday afternoon crash, Illinois state trooper Mike Link said. Officials from St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield said they were treating 13 patients with serious injuries.

Television footage from the scene shows numerous emergency vehicles surrounding the bus and crews on ladders reaching inside the smashed front end of the bus. Illinois state trooper Doug Francis said 20 ambulances and two medevac choppers responded.

The Megabus was heading southbound when it crashed into a bridge abutment at 1:22 p.m. CT, Fransics said. It appears the bus blew a tire.

The crash near Litchfield, about 55 miles northeast of St. Louis, shut down the interstate in both directions.

Megabus confirmed to CBS News the bus was booked for 81 passengers and was on the Chicago- St. Louis - Columbia - Kansas City route. Police said they believed up to 64 people were on board, but no official number has been released.

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