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NTSB to investigate bus crash

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7:47 p.m. Update:
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending a team to investigate the bus accident.

The effects of the crash were felt on traffic as far south as downtown Bethesda, with cars blocking intersections in their efforts to get to or from River Road, which is also jammed.

--Katherine Shaver

7:19 p.m. Update: A spokeswoman at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda said 8 patients from the crash have been treated there. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Laine said two of the patients were classified as trauma patients and are in fair condition. Two adults and four children are in good condition. Family members of all the patients have been notified, she said.

-- Maria Glod

Northbound routes remain severely backed up at this hour.

7:11 p.m. Update: Three patients were treated at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, two children and one adult, hospital spokeswoman Theresa Scolaro said. She said she did not have information on their conditions.

-- Maria Glod

7:10 p.m. Update: Police dogs are now searching around the bus to make sure that no ejected passengers are hidden in the foliage.

-- Dan Morse

6:54 P.M. Update: A Maryland State Police helicopter is on the scene taking pictures as part of the investigation. Authorities have set up lights so that they can continue their investigation.

While traffic is generally flowing -- slowly -- from I-495 South to I-270 North, travelers from I-495 North still must find alternate routes as the Spur is still closed. Cabin John Parkway and Old Georgetown Road are both severely backed up, with traffic moving less than 20 mph.

6:34 p.m. Update: State transportation agencies are reporting delays of several miles on the Capital Beltway. Delays into Virginia extend seven miles, according to state traffic data.

6:30 p.m. Update: None of the eleven patients taken to Suburban Hospital suffered life-threatening injuries, said hospital spokeswoman Ronna Borenstein-Levy. She said four children who were treated are in good condition. Two adults are in fair condition, and five others are in good condition.

"We were fortunate thse people didn't have more severe injuries," Borenstein-Levy said.

-- Maria Glod

6:05 p.m. UPDATE: Old Georgetown Road is also heavily backed up with overflow traffic because of the accident.

Montgomery County Police and Maryland State Police are currently on the scene continuing their investigation. County officials say two other vehicles were involved, and that is part of the investigation.

Drivers should expect the shutdown to continue for some time while the investigation proceeds.

5:55 p.m. UPDATE:

National Transportation Safety Board officials are monitoring the crash but have not yet decided whether the agency will launch an investigation, spokesman Keith Holloway said.

-- Maria Glod
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5:34 P.M. UPDATE: While traffic in the vicinity remains severely delayed, there are several alternate routes out of the District. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Georgia avenues are all options for drivers heading into Montgomery County.

5:30 P.M. UPDATE:

According to Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham, the bus was heading northbound on Interstate 270, taking an HOV flyover, when it went past a guardrail and down an embankment about 45 feet.

One adult is dead and 12 people have been taken to hospitals, two with life-threatening-injuries, eight with lesser injuries, Graham said. Everyone is off the bus, but the body of the person who died, remains on board.

-- Dan Morse

5:15 P.M. UPDATE:

Authorities say one person has died after a commercial charter bus carrying parents and children fell 45 feet off a skyramp of the Washington beltway and landed below along Interstate 270.

The white bus, with green lettering reading "Wolf's," is sitting upright just over a jersey wall from a lane of I-270.

Montgomery County fire department spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia confirmed one person has died. He says crews were dispatched about 4 p.m. Wednesday. Garcia says there were at least 10 to 15 people who were evaluated at the scene. He says crews had to cut four people who were trapped inside the bus. He says two of them have life-threatening injuries.

-- Associated Press

5:10 P.M. UPDATE:

Traffic cameras show a tow truck is on the scene.

5 P.M. UPDATE:

Maryland State Police say multiple people are injured and one person may have died after a commercial charter bus carrying parents and children fell 45 feet off a skyramp of the Washington beltway and landed below along Interstate 270.

A state police spokesman says some victims are still being extricated from the bus.

The white bus, with green lettering reading "Wolf's," is sitting upright just over a jersey wall from a lane of I-270. Rescue workers have propped up ladders to reach inside the shattered windows.

-- Associated Press

UPDATE:
4:42 p.m.

One person was killed Wednesday when a tour bus went off I-270 in Bethesda, officials said.

Scott Graham, spokesman for Montgomery County fire and rescue, said a passenger charter bus carrying 20 passengers was involved in an accident with several vehicles. Ten people, all on the bus, are said to be hurt.

There are still passengers trapped on the bus and officials are working to extricate them.

The bus fell off a northbound ramp, Graham said.

All lanes of I-270 closed at the northbound spur. Motorists are being asked to avoid the area.

Original post: A bus accident on the I-270 Spur North has all lanes blocked near Tuckerman Lane. From traffic cameras, it appears that a tour bus broke through the jersey barriers on a ramp and landed on the road below. Expect severe traffic delays.

Emergency personnel are on the scene and a rescue is taking place. County officials say there are multiple people injured.

Rockville Pike is an alternate route, but delays are already starting to build. There is additional heavy traffic building on the Capital Beltway and the American Legion Bridge. The accident occurred north of Montgomery Mall.

By Michael Bolden  | September 29, 2010; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Maryland  
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Comments


According to Channel 9 (4:40p), at least one person is dead. Looks horrific.

Posted by: Gidgmom | September 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Is the Democracy Road exit before this on 270 heading north accessible, or is the road blocked off before there?

Posted by: JTerp | September 29, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

JTerp,

The Democracy Road exit should be accessible. The accident is beyond that.

Michael Bolden
Development &
Transportation Editor

Posted by: Michael Bolden | September 29, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@leena, Sorry to hear about your friend, What your friend needs is a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, here is the one that I know of http://bit.ly/9be1LW who offers no charge consultation, hope he feels better soon


Posted by: brayden29 | September 30, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

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