COLUMBIA ICEFIELD – It will take several days for investigators into a fatal rollover that occured Saturday (July 18) in Jasper National Park to extract the damaged motor coach from the Columbia Icefield Adventure.
An update from RCMP on Monday (July 20) stated that investigators from the Jasper detachment, a collision reconstruction analyst, occupational health and safety and Parks Canada remain on the scene at the base of the Athabasca Glacier.
"Efforts are currently underway to remove the Ice Explorer vehicle; however, it may take several days," wrote Cpl. Deanna Fontaine in a press release.
"The removal of the vehicle is a large undertaking due to the challenges involved with the area where it came to rest. The RCMP must also protect the physical integrity of the vehicle pending its examination as part of this investigation."
RCMP are unable to confirm the cause of the rollover, however the reconstruction analyst has indicated there is no evidence of a rock slide at the site.
The specially designed all-terrain motor coach rolled down an embankment Saturday (July 18), killing three of its 27 occupants and seriously injuring 14 others, including the driver.
The motor coach is one of 23 operated by Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection at the glacier, located along the Highway 93 between Lake Louise and Jasper. The company also operates the Glacier Skywalk, however operations at both have been suspended while the investigation continues.
According to the RCMP, the victims are a 24-year-old woman from Canoe Narrows, Sask., a 28-year-old woman from Edmonton and a 28-year-old male from India. However, officials said they will not be releasing their names.
Of those that had serious, potentially life-threatening injuries, only four remain in critical, but stable condition. Another passenger is considered to be in serious, but stable condition as well.
Anyone with information on the rollover is asked to contact Jasper RCMP at 780-852-3883.