US Miami Airport Bus Crash

Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 9:42pm

A bus slammed Saturday into an overpass at Miami's airport, killing two passengers, authorities said.

The driver of the tour bus mistakenly drove the wrong route -- on the lower level for arrivals rather than a higher one for departures, which buses could clear -- when it crashed into the 8-foot, 6-inch high overpass, Miami International Airport spokesman Greg Chin said.

The Miami-Dade Police Department explained, in a news release, that "the bus driver was not familiar" with the airport when the crash occurred around 7:25 a.m. Saturday. Signs in the area clearly mark bus restrictions in the airport, according to Chin.

Miami-Dade police "immediately began to remove injured passengers from a window" until firefighters arrived.

Except for one person who died at the scene, all 31 others aboard the bus were transported to local hospitals, according to police. One of them later died at a hospital.

The two victims were men, identified by police as 86-year-old Serafin Castillo and 56-year-old Francisco Urana, both of Miami.

Investigators said the bus was chartered by a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, on its way to an assembly about 75 miles north in West Palm Beach.

The bus driver was among those hurt, suffering what police described as "minor injuries."

Authorities addressed and assessed the situation all morning, with the bus finally removed and the area cleared around 2 p.m., said Chin. Vehicles were moving through the area by late afternoon.

Officials will check the integrity of the overpass to make sure the crash didn't cause any significant structural damage, Chin said.
 

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