Ottawa (AP) - A double-decker bus has rammed a bus stop shelter in Canada's capital, Ottawa, causing at least three deaths.

Another 23 people were injured, some of them seriously, as the police and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced on Friday night (local time). One of the victims had stood at the bus stop, the other two were sitting in the bus. The reasons for the incident are still unclear. The bus driver was arrested.

In pictures the severely demolished front of the bus was visible. The roof of the waiting room had drilled into the upper floor of the vehicle and shaved off parts of the roof and the right side of the bus. Accordingly, the most seriously injured were on the upper deck, as Ottawa's police chief Charles Bordeleau explained. There, several passengers were jammed with such force that rescue workers had to release them later. Bordeleau spoke of a "very difficult and chaotic scenery" for the emergency services.

An eyewitness told the station CBC News the seconds before the impact. Bilal Gill, in his own words, was sitting in the back of the upper floor when the bus suddenly started to roll and shortly thereafter rammed the shelter. "Many people shouted that the people in the front were being trapped under their seats." The police quickly arrived and smashed windows to recover the injured.

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CBC report