In Canada, a trip to the theatre for 48 handicapped people ended with the worst bus crash in Canadian history, on Friday (4 August).
GV Lac d'Argent with rescuers at work ZOOM INTO frogmen in water.
SV Police rescuers in dinghy dragging lake.
GV Boats searching water and helicopter flying overhead and circling lake.
SV Weeping woman being comforted and led away.
CU Survivor speaking in English.
GV NIGHTSCENE with bus being lifted out of water.
SV PAN DAWN SCENE OF bodies laid on beach covered with plastic sheets.
SV Rescue workers and nun identifying bodies.
GV Bodies being placed into tractor-trailer truck.
GV PAN INT Garage of Waterloo funeral home laid out with white sheets for coffins
SV PAN Man arriving with flowers.
SV Relatives of victims and nuns entering home. (2 SHOTS)
GV Community centre.
GV Lorry washing floor of community centre. (2 SHOTS)
GV Congregation arriving for mass in Asbestos.
GV Church steeple.
SURVIVOR:"The first thing I saw, the boat, and I went to the boat and it was locked, on the bottom of the water with a big chain. And when I turned back to see the autobus, it was floating, just like a boat. And I went from the boat to the shore and the bus was just going, right down."
MCCARTHY:"The bus was pulled from the lake at four o'clock this morning. It had been towed through 11 feet of mud. There were 37 bodies inside. By dawn the bodies had been removed and placed on the shore. Two bodies were still missing so police dragged the lake, but did not find them. A nun from Asbestos, the home of all the victims, tentatively identified them. One by one they were put into a temporary morgue, a tractor-trailer truck. A morgue had been prepared in the funeral home garage, 41 white sheets set out to cover the bodies. Relatives arrived in Waterloo all afternoon. Floral tributes began arriving. Because a formal investigation of the accident will be held, autopsies of the victims had been expected. But the coronor said after the bodies were identified, they would be released for burial. the bus load of mentally and physically handicapped residents had started rom the Asbestos Community Centre Friday, today, it was being turned into a morgue. All 41 caskets will be brought here. a mass for the victims was said in Asbestos. A priest who survived the accident, conducted the mass and some of the survivors attended. The 9,000 people of this mining town are still in shock, this evening funeral arrangements are not certain."
REPORTER: LEE MCCARTHY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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.