3 dead, 23 hurt in Ottawa double-decker bus crash

A bus crash at Westboro Station in Ottawa

A bus crash at Westboro Station in Ottawa

A bus crash at Westboro Station in Ottawa.

Part of the upper right side of the bus was shorn off in the collision, which happened shortly before 4 p.m. ET (2100 GMT) at a busy transit station in the west end of the city.

Two of the dead were riding the bus; one was on the platform at Westboro station, a major stop on the city's busway, he said.

The driver of the bus was arrested at the scene, Chief Charles Bordeleau of the Ottawa police told an evening news conference at city hall.

An investigation is ongoing.

He said investigators are trying to determine the cause of the crash.

"Like Ontarians from across the province, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the awful tragedy at Westboro station in Ottawa".

Images of the crash during the afternoon rush hour showed upper deck seats hanging from a gaping hole at the front of the bus, firefighters on ladders trying to reach the injured and a lineup of 25 ambulances waiting in the biting cold to take them to hospitals.

"There's no question that the weather adds complexity at the scene", said Bordeleau.

Two of the victims were passengers on the bus.

An obviously distressed woman was seen being wheeled away from the bus on a stretcher by paramedics.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tweeted he was shocked to hear of the "horrific incident".

People are being asked to avoid the area as crews help those who have been injured. "My first thoughts are with those who have been injured and their families".

In 2013, another Ottawa double-decker bus broke through a warning gate and collided with a Via Rail train in suburban Barrhaven, killing six people as the train sheared off the front of the vehicle.