Rescuing Oregon Bus Crash Victims a Challenge

A steep slope and language barrier made things more difficult

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 1, 2013 9:29 AM CST

(Newser) – More sad details surrounding the Oregon tour bus crash that killed nine on Sunday. The New York Times today takes a look at the difficulties that plagued the rescue effort, among them the steep and snowy slope that rescue teams had to climb with the victims in tow. Each injured person was hauled to the top by four to six workers, who used backboards, rappelling lines, and baskets to do so. Many of those victims spoke only Korean, and the language barrier caused additional issues.

But the biggest obstacle was the size of the accident, which was attended to by emergency workers employed by 10 area ambulance companies. The Oregonian reports that those who survived the crash were taken to any one of a number of hospitals—at least 10 facilities in three states received victims. Informing the families of the victims has been a slow process, as many passengers were apparently ejected from the bus, separating them from their personal items. The investigation could take several weeks to complete.

Map locates Vancouver-bound tour bus that crashed in Oregon, killing nine people.
Map locates Vancouver-bound tour bus that crashed in Oregon, killing nine people.   (AP)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple fatality accident where a tour bus careened through a guardrail along an icy Oregon highway.
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple fatality accident where a tour bus careened through a guardrail along an icy Oregon highway.   (AP Photo/East Oregonian, Tim Trainor)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple fatality accident where a tour bus careened through a guardrail.
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple fatality accident where a tour bus careened through a guardrail.   (AP Photo/East Oregonian, Tim Trainor)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple-fatality accident after a tour bus careened through a guardrail.
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple-fatality accident after a tour bus careened through a guardrail.   (AP Photo/East Oregonian, Tim Trainor)
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