At least 8 killed in California tour bus crash: police

Mon Feb 4, 2013 6:17am EST

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(Reuters) - At least eight people were killed and dozens injured when a tour bus collided with a pickup truck on a Southern California highway on Sunday, then flipped over, authorities said.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department received a call shortly after 6:30 p.m. reporting a tour bus rolled over after colliding with a pickup on Highway 38 near Mentone, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

Several passengers were ejected in the accident. More than 40 people were taken to area hospitals, the California Highway Patrol said.

"Some of the victims who were transported (to hospital) were transported with major injuries," patrol spokesman Mario Lopez told Reuters.

The bus was operated by Scapadas Magicas, a tour company based in National City, in southern California, Lopez said. The firm also operates in Tijuana, Mexico.

"I can't confirm if the passengers are from Tijuana or if they boarded in California ... We have officers who have been sent to different area hospitals to hopefully identify the victims involved in this collision," he said.

The highway is one of three roads leading to Big Bear Lake, a mountainous recreational area popular with skiers.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor)

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