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At least five people were killed and several were injured in a tour bus accident in Monterey County Tuesday on the U.S. 101 overpass near Soledad, officials report.

It appears the driver of the southbound bus veered into a railing on an overpass at Front Street, said Fran Clader of the California Highway patrol.

The tour bus was carrying 36 French and Canadian tourists including the driver and a tour guide when it flipped and rolled over.

When emergency crews arrived, the bus was on its side, with luggage and clothing strewn about the highway. Several of the passengers may have been ejected in the crash. Officials secured the accident scene within minutes and shut down the freeway for two hours.

Every passenger on the bus required medical attention, which proved difficult due to the remoteness of the Salinas Valley site. Eight helicopters and 14 ambulances were present to transport the injured passengers to several hospitals in the region.

An official spokesman for the bus company, Orange County-based Orion Pacific Tour Bus Co., could not be reached for comment, but the company said a statement about the crash would be released later today. #

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