OC Transpo bus strikes open manhole in Gatineau, several people injured

An OC Transpo bus hit an open manhole in Gatineau on Monday afternoon, injuring at least seven people.

Gatineau police say the crash happened on rue Laurier yesterday around 4 p.m. They say the injuries are not serious. 

“The lid was on the scene but not on the manhole,” said Constable Andree East, a spokesperson for the Gatineau Police. “As it passed over the manhole the tire slipped into the hole and caused damage to the bus and the inner part to rip off the street.”

One passenger on the bus describes the ordeal as one of the most traumatic of her life.

“The bus went like boom,” said Lejla Jasarevic. “It was like a bomb went off.”

The 28-year-old was on her way home, riding the 61 Terry Fox along Laurier near Eddy, when the bus hit the open manhole. She said many people were sent falling following the impact of the crash.

“The sheer look of terror and shock was apparent on everyone’s face,” said Jasarevic. “There was lady bent over, she couldn’t move her bottom-half.”

The father of that woman, 37, says his daughter broke her hip and is waiting at Civic Hospital for emergency surgery.

Jasarevic says she hit her head, as did another man.

“His head was bleeding and his hand was also hurt,” said Jasarevic. “Luckily I had a flannel from work and I gave it to him.”

Police are investigating the crash, and why the manhole was left open. At this time, no charges are pending against OC Transpo or the bus driver.

Meantime, Jasarevic said she is disappointed in the response from the driver.

“Maybe she was in shock too,” said Jasarevic. “We were all left in the back in the bus trying to help each other, like complete strangers.”

CTV News reached out to OC Transpo, who said staff was looking into the collision, but they did not get back to CTV News before air-time.

– With files from Christina Succi

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