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Chicago bus crash sends 20 to area hospitals
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A collision involving a tour bus and another vehicle on a busy expressway near downtown Chicago sent 20 people to the hospital and temporarily halted all northbound traffic on the highway on Sunday, an emergency official said.
A spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department said the accident occurred around dinner time on the northbound Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), just south of the downtown business district known locally as "The Loop."
Twenty people with injuries, "none serious," were taken to a half a dozen local hospitals, the spokesman said. Another 31 people refused treatment.
The spokesman said the damage to both vehicles was minor and that traffic on the expressway resumed shortly after 7 p.m.
There have been several bus crashes on U.S. highways in recent months, including one in the Bronx in March that left 15 people dead and one in Virginia last week that killed four.
Days before the Virginia accident the Department of Transportation announced that a crackdown on passenger buses conducted in the first two weeks of May put 127 drivers and 315 vehicles out-of-service after over 3,000 unannounced inspections.
"Safety is our number one priority," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement last week. "We will use every resource at our disposal to pursue and remove from our roads unsafe, reckless bus companies."
After the Bronx crash, the New York State Department of Transportation cracked down on many of the discount bus services known as Chinatown buses. The tour bus in the Bronx accident crashed at 5:30 a.m. as it was returning to Chinatown from a Connecticut casino.
The bus in last week's Virginia crash was also headed to New York City's Chinatown, authorities said.
(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Jerry Norton)
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