4 dead, 12 critical injuries after duck boat, tour bus crash in Seattle

Firefighters assist victims after a crash between a bus and a tour vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in this picture from the Seattle Fire Department, in Seattle, Washington September 24, 2015 © Seattle Fire Department
Four people have been killed and many are suffering from critical injuries after a crash between a charter bus and an amphibious "Ride the Ducks" tour vehicle in Seattle, Washington, fire officials told local media.

Fire officials added that 12 people are in critical condition and another 20 suffered from non-life-threatening injuries. More than 44 patients were transferred to Harborview Medical Center and other hosptials, the Seattle Fire Department said in a statement.

All four of the people who died were international students at North Seattle College.

Everyone involved has been removed from the vehicles, the Fire Department stated on Twitter. 

It's currently unclear how the accident over the Aurora Avenue Bridge occurred. Two passenger vehicles were also involved in the incident and the bridge has been shut down for an investigation.

Onboard the charter bus were multiple foreign students, according to the Associated Press, and officials were working to contact the necessary consulates.

Meanwhile, there is no information to be shared yet regarding the "duck boat," a vehicle that doubles as a boat and an on-road bus. The tour company involved, called Ride the Ducks, offers tours of Seattle featuring loud music and guides who quack through megaphones.

“It was devastating,” said Ride the Ducks President Brian Tracey. “All I care about is the safety of the passengers and the people who were injured on the duck.”

One witness, 23-year-old Brad Volm of Philadelphia, told the Seattle Times that the duck boat "swerved" and crashed into the charter bus. Red fluid was apparently leaking from the duck boat's front left tire, he said.

“Seattle had a terrible tragedy today. There has been loss of life and dozens of injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, those injured and their loved ones,” said Mayor Ed Murray in a statement.