A double-decker Megabus ran into an overpass support beam on Interstate 55 in Litchfield, Illinois on Thursday. At least one person has died and three dozen have been seriously injured. The bus was traveling between Chicago and Kansas City.
Thirty-eight people were taken to local hospitals for their injuries. Rescue teams had to use ladders to reach the victims trapped in the bus.
Amanda Byers, a Megabus spokesperson said the bus was at full capacity, carrying a total of 81 passengers. She reported that they do not know the cause of the crash, though she had heard reports that the accident may have been caused by a blown tire.
This accident follows several others in a string of bus crashes lately, which has raised the question if tougher regulations are needed in the busing industry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that Megabus fared better than the national average in safety rankings in 2011. Megabus had three accidents in 2011, and one person was killed in one of the accidents.
The National Highway Safety Transportation Board said that is would work with local authorities “to determine if there were safety implications that merit agency action.”
The NTSB has also stated that “Motorcoaches are among the safest vehicles on the road; they are rarely involved in highway accidents.” They also added that because these vehicles transport large amounts of people annually (750 million), if something goes wrong, more people are at risk of injury and death.