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Okanagan Connector now open after Christmas Eve crash that hospitalized 53 people

There is currently a freezing rain warning in effect along the Connector
The Connector is icy and people are urged to avoid travel until the freezing rain warning subsides. (Drive BC)

Highway 97 C is now open to travellers after a bus crash that hospitalized 53 people caused closures near Peachland last night.

On Dec. 24, at approximately 7p.m. a passenger bus crash on the Okanagan Connector between West Kelowna and Merritt caused hospitals in the region to enact code orange protocols.

The code is called during mass casualties or serious events and sets in motion a series of protocols to prepare the hospital for an influx of critically injured people.

Injured people were triaged to the Kelowna, Penticton and Merritt hospitals.

READ MORE: 53 people injured in bus crash on Okanagan Connector on Christmas Eve

Premier David Eby, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Transportation Minister Rob Flemming have released a joint statement following Saturday evening’s bus crash near Merritt.

“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the crash, their loved ones, and the first responders and health-care workers giving their all to treat people and keep them safe.”

An information line has been set up by Interior Health as British Columbians search for details on their loved ones who were impacted by the crash. Those searching for additional information on their loved ones and which hospital a patient was taken to can call 250-545-2211.

A freezing rain warning is currently in effect along the Connector with conditions expected to worsen on Christmas night before warming on Dec. 26.

READ MORE: Freezing rain and snowy Christmas for the Okanagan


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