A bus carrying Chinese-speaking tourists careened off a road and crashed near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah on Friday, killing at least four people and critically injuring at least another 12, authorities reported.
The tour bus with 30 people aboard crashed near a highway rest stop about 11 kilometres from the park entrance.
The highway patrol states multiple air ambulance and rescue crews have been dispatched to the scene.
"This is pretty overwhelming for a little county of 4,900 people", Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock told KSL-TV, a local NBC affiliate station. One of them, Intermountain Garfield Memorial Hospital, said it received 17 patients.
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Utah Highway Patrol later confirmed at least four people have died and there may be more casualties as the response unfolds.
Twelve to 15 passengers suffered "very critical injuries in the crash near Bryce Canyon National Park".
The highway has been closed in both directions approximately 3.5 miles west of the park while authorities investigate the crash. Bryce Canyon is located in southern Utah and is known for its hoodoos, with the largest concentration of the tectonic rock columns found anywhere on earth.