Illinois Megabus crash kills one and injures two dozen

The front of the Megabus coach was twisted and broken after impact

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One woman died and dozens of people were injured after a double-decker bus crashed into a concrete bridge pillar in the US state of Illinois.

Thirty-eight people were taken to hospital, including five patients who were airlifted.

The full-capacity Megabus coach, heading from Chicago for Kansas City, Missouri, had 81 passengers on board.

Officials say that a blown tyre on the coach appears to have caused the crash, but the investigation could take weeks.

As many as 30 ambulances and 10 helicopters were called to the scene of the incident on Interstate 55, which had to be closed in both directions.

Screams

Hospital officials said on Friday they still were treating patients, although none of the injuries were said to be life-threatening.

Start Quote

There was blood everywhere”

End Quote Baysha Collins Passenger

The woman who died was a 25-year-old Indian native, Aditi Avhad, who had been on her way to Columbia, Missouri where she was a graduate student.

The vehicle collided head on with the bridge pillar in the centre of the motorway.

Aerial footage of the crash site showed the front of the bus crushed by the impact, although it remained upright.

"There was a lot of screaming and crying," passenger Baysha Collins, 16, told the Associated Press. "There was blood everywhere. I was just in shock."

Another passenger, Megan Arns, described the scene as "absolute panic" and said before the crash.

Rescuers had to climb up ladders to reach passengers trapped inside, including the woman who died, State Police Captain Scott Compton told the Chicago Tribune.

Megabus, which began operating coach services in 2006, was last involved in an accident in September 2010, when four people were killed when a bus hit a low bridge in Syracuse, New York.

In a statement, the company said the bus had been fully inspected in the last week, including its tyres.

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