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Metro Train Collides with Bus in Downtown Los Angeles, Injuring More than 50, 2 Seriously

LOS ANGELES  — At least 55 people were hurt, two seriously, when a Metro light rail train and a University of Southern California shuttle bus collided Tuesday along a busy thoroughfare in downtown Los Angeles, officials said.

The crash happened shortly before noon along Exposition Boulevard, near the USC campus and Natural History Museum, according to the LA Fire Department.

Two victims were hospitalized with serious injuries and 16 others were transported in fair condition, the department said. Another 37 people were treated at the scene.

Dave Sotero, a spokesperson for LA Metro, said the bus crossed into the path of an E Line train. The light rail line runs from East Los Angeles to downtown Santa Monica mostly along streets, and not all of the crossings have gates.

Genesis Hernandez was transferring from a Metro bus to catch the E Line to Santa Monica, where she attends college when “all of a sudden I just saw a bunch of ambulances going by,” she recalled.

The 19-year-old was able to view the crash scene from a platform at the Expo/Vermont Metro station. “The bus definitely got crunched on its front end,” she said. “The train didn’t look too damaged.”

Television news footage showed the left side of the red and white bus smashed against the first car of the train. The front section of the bus had significant damage.

The Starcraft 40-passenger bus was traveling westbound on Exposition Boulevard with only the driver and one passenger aboard when the collision occurred, according to a statement from USC Transportation. The bus driver and passenger were the two most severely injured, according to fire department officials.

There were more than 150 passengers on the Santa Monica-bound Metro train, officials said.

Sotero said the Los Angeles Police Department would be in charge of the investigation.

“Metro offers its sympathy to those injured in the accident,” Sotero said in an email.

Exposition Boulevard was closed in both directions during the initial investigation. Metro said its train service would be limited and buses would be used to get passengers through the crash area.

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