In Canada, a trip to the theatre for 48 handicapped people ended with the worst bus crash in Canadian history, on Friday (4 August).
In Canada, a trip to the theatre for 48 handicapped people ended with the worst bus crash in Canadian history, on Friday (4 August). The passengers including many physically and mentally handicapped students, volunteer helpers and relatives, were on board the bus when it crashed into Lac d'Argent, near Eastman, 80 miles (130 kilometres) southeast of Montreal. Only seven people survived and rescue workers were unable to lift the bus until the next day. Some of the victims' bodies were pulled out of the water but 37 were still trapped in the bus when it was recovered.
SYNOPSIS: Frogmen were hampered by poor visibility and the muddy waters of the lake. The bus was lying in about 60 feet (18 metres) of water. It skidded off the road when the brakes failed, crashed into the lake and floated for several minutes before sinking. Survivors managed to escape by opening the bus door, but were unable to reach any of the handicapped passengers.
The victims were members of a centre for the handicapped in the near-by town of Asbestos. Their ages ranged from 14 to 86 and they had a variety of physical and mental disabilities. Two were confined to wheel-chairs but the rest were able to walk. One survivor describes what happened after he swam away from the sinking bus, and Lee McCarthy of NBC News watched as the coach was finally lifted from the lake.