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Two killed, more than 20 seriously injured in bus crash south of Sydney
Updated: 2005-09-05 15:32

A bus carrying Asian tourists slipped off a road south of Sydney and plunged down an embankment, killing two people and seriously injuring more than 20 others, police and rescuers said.

"At this stage we have two deceased and another 25 or so that we're treating for serious injuries," said ambulance spokeswoman Jennifer Pedvin.

Rescue helicopter spokesman Ian Badham said up to seven patients had been critically injured and helicopters were flying them to Sydney hospitals.

The bus, which reportedly was carrying about 40 passengers, swerved off Jamberoo Mountain road, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Sydney, at mid afternoon and rolled 10 meters (33 feet) down an embankment, Pedvin said.

The Japanese consulate in Sydney had sent two officials to the scene to investigate reports that the passengers were Japanese, consulate spokesman Tetsuya Yoshimoto said.

New South Wales police said the bus was carrying Asian tourists, but they had no immediate confirmation of their nationalities.

Pedvin said 15 ambulances and five rescue helicopters were ferrying the injured to hospitals.

David Hamilton, the mayor of nearby Shellharbour City Council, said he was surprised a tourist coach would be using the Jamberoo Mountain Road.

"I've not known any coaches to use this road," Hamilton said.

"I've never known them to use it except with extreme care when the Macquarie Pass is blocked," he added.

Jim Eddy, who runs the Jamberoo Recreation Park, near the crash scene, said the road was "reasonable" but narrow.

"But it's a bit tight for a bus or a truck _ I didn't even know they used the road for that purpose," he said.

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