It was not immediately clear if alcohol, drugs or fatigue was a factor in the crash, but an investigation team has been sent to the crash site. Photograph: (Reuters)
The speeding bus pushed about 15 feet into the trailer leaving behind a mangled mass of metal
At least thirteen people were killed and 31 injured on Sunday when a tour bus collided into a trailer on a Southern California highway, near Palm Springs before dawn.
The collision left a mangled mass of metal plowed into the back of the large truck. The bus pushed about 15 feet into the truck because of its speed. Emergency workers were using metal ladders to reach the inside of the bus to rescue the injured.
"Because of the impact where the bus entered the back of the big rig, the majority of the people who were killed were in the front section of the bus. They believe everyone was asleep on the bus," an emotional California Highway Police chief Jim Abele said.
The injured were being treated at nearby hospitals, while all westbound lanes of the interstate were temporarily closed near the crash site.
It was not immediately clear if alcohol, drugs or fatigue was a factor in the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board said it has sent an investigative team to the site. The bus had been inspected recently and showed no indication of mechanical problems. Police said the bus was traveling "significantly faster" than the trailer.
The bus, belonging to a tour company USA Holiday, appeared to be carrying casino-goers back to Los Angeles from the Red Earth Casino after a night of gambling.
(WION with inputs from agencies)