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Investigators continue to probe deadly New York tour bus crash

03-15-2011 14:50 BJT

NEW YORK, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Investigators continued to work on the cause of the deadly tour bus crash in New York City as the 15th victim was confirmed on Monday.

Police said that a 70-year-old passenger died from his injuries on Monday morning at St. Barnabas Hospital. Thirteen passengers died at the scene of the crash in Bronx on Saturday morning, and a 14th died a short time later at Jacobi Hospital.

Many of the victims were Chinatown residents. Chinese Consul- general Peng Keyu told Xinhua that the Consulate-general in New York has sent working units to hospitals and has maintained close contact with the city mayor's office.

So far, the victims' identities have not been confirmed yet.

The Worldwide Tour bus, carrying 32 people, skidded and hit a sign pole on Interstate 95 at Exit 14 for the Hutchinson Parkway at 5:30 a.m. local time (1030 GMT) Saturday. The sign post sheared off the bus top along the window line.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Sunday evening that the bus' black box was found and has been sent to Washington, D.C. to be reviewed. The footage from the camera on the bus will also be analyzed. Authorities are also looking into whether the driver of the bus fell asleep at the wheel.

The 40-year-old bus driver, Ophadell Williams, with non-life- threatening injuries, said a tractor trailer side-swiped the bus before the crash. However, the tractor trailer driver has told police that he was following the bus at the time.

Several witnesses and passengers have told investigators that in the moments before the crash, Williams swerved a few times for no apparent reason. Records show that Worldwide Tour was involved in crashes in New York in 2009 and last year in New Jersey, each causing one passenger injury.

A Family Assistance Center has been set up in New York to provide family members with information regarding their loved ones. Authorities have also brought in Chinese translators to help the families.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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