Investigators recover data recorders from deadly bus-train crash in Ottawa

OTTAWA – Transportation Safety Board investigators have recovered data recorders from the Ottawa city bus and Via Rail locomotive involved in Wednesday’s deadly level crossing accident which killed six people.

A board spokeswoman says the agency will have to get some help dealing with the recorder from the double-decker OC Transpo bus because it doesn’t normally deal with bus accidents.

“The one on the bus we are not used to,” said Julie Leroux.

The board has said it may take months to unravel why the crowded bus drove through a lowered safety barrier and ran into the train just outside a Via station in the western suburbs.

Rail crews worked overnight to get the passenger train back on the rails.

The crash, which ripped the front off the bus, took place at a level crossing on a transitway dedicated to bus traffic.

Witnesses said the bus didn’t stop as lights flashed, bells rang and safety barriers dropped across the road at the approach of the train, which was slowing for a station stop.

Passengers on the bus frantically shouted “Stop! Stop!” seconds before the impact.

Ottawa police have only publicly identified one victim, bus driver David Woodard. Colleagues described him as a conscientious driver and a good workmate.

Police said they have identified the other four men and one woman who were also killed in the collision, all of whom range in age from 21 to 57.

Families have been notified and police say more information about the victims is to be released later today.

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