55 Injured as Metro Train Collides With Bus in Downtown Los Angeles

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
May 1, 2024California
55 Injured as Metro Train Collides With Bus in Downtown Los Angeles
A Metro light rail train resumes service in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Officials say multiple people were hurt, and a few seriously, when a Metro light rail train and a University of Southern California shuttle bus collided in downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

At least 55 people were hurt when a University of Southern California shuttle bus collided with a Metro light rail train Tuesday along a busy thoroughfare in downtown Los Angeles, officials say.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said the crash happened shortly before noon along Exposition Boulevard, near the USC campus and Natural History Museum.

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

The bus, a Starcraft 40-passenger bus, was empty when the collision occurred, traveling only with the driver and one passenger aboard, according to a statement from USC Transportation.

Television news footage showed that the train was scratched and had a shattered front windshield, but the collision did not derail the train. The front section of the red and white USC bus suffered severe damage.

The bus driver and passenger were transferred to hospital with serious injuries, fire department officials say.

Of the 55 injured, 16 were transported to local hospitals in fair condition, and another 37 people were treated at the scene.

“That was tragic,” a female passenger told NBC while sitting in an ambulance. “I got thrown from my chair to the other chair, so my whole left side is sore.”

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating. At the moment, it remains unclear what caused the accident.

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

Service on the E Line was suspended in both directions between Expo-Vermont and Jefferson-USC stations for several hours following the accident, according to LA Metro.

Mr. Sotero said Metro set up a bus bridge to transfer passengers through the area while the accident was investigated and the road was cleared.

Genesis Hernandez, a 19-year-old student, 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.

Ms. Hernandez said 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.”

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

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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