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2 die in bus crash at Miami airport; 3 critical

By Suzette Laboy

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 11:25 p.m. MST

Fire trucks and police cars swarmed the area around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and the bus was blocked off by yellow police tape. A white cooler that had been filled with water bottles was on its side behind the bus, the front of which remained wedged beneath the overpass for hours before it was towed away.

The bus was privately owned and typically used for tours, though police believe all the passengers were local residents, said Miami-Dade police Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz. The driver was unfamiliar with the area near the airport and did not intend to wind up at the arrivals area, Cordero-Stutz said. Investigators were interviewing the driver, who suffered minor injuries.

The bus was going about 20 mph when it struck the overpass Saturday morning, Chin said.

The bus model is commonly used for charters and tours, with the driver seated low to the ground and passenger seats in an elevated area behind the driver's seat.

Markings on the bus show it was owned by Miami Bus Service Corp.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records found online show the company has had no violations for unsafe driving or controlled substances and alcohol. It also had not reported any crashes in the two years before Oct. 26, 2012.

The records show it did receive three citations related to driver fatigue in April 2011.

The company owns three motor coaches, according to the records. Miami Bus Service Corp. officials did not immediately respond to a phone message Saturday.

Associated Press reporter Jackie Quinn in Washington contributed to this report.

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