Twelve Ziptrek Ecotour guests got a little more adventure than they bargained for when their passenger bus rolled down a 30-foot embankment last weekend.
One woman, a teacher from Singapore, sustained head and neck injuries and was airlifted to a Vancouver hospital following the accident, which happened on Sunday around 11:40 a.m.
Several of her students, aged between 14 and 18 years old, also received minor injuries but all were treated and released the same day and flew back to Singapore as scheduled Tuesday.
Most of the injuries involved minor cuts and bruises.
The driver, Ziptrek staff, and several other passengers were shaken by the incident but unharmed.
“We are so thankful that everyone is OK,” said David Udow, CEO of Ziptrek, which has been in operation since 2002 ziplining thousands across Fitzsimmons Creek and educating visitors about rainforest ecology in the Whistler Valley.
“There have literally been thousands and thousands of trips on that road. The road is OK.”
The driver of the 20-passenger bus, “is upset about it,” said Udow, adding that the company is cooperating with the RCMP.
Udow described the driver as a “totally responsible person” with a strong employment record.
He said the company is proud of its safety record and will continue to work diligently to keep its guests and staff safe.
The bus, which had 12 occupants, left the roadway while travelling downhill on the way back to the village from the Ziptrek station on Blackcomb Mountain. It rolled once down the embankment and landed upright on a smaller access road.
Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said the cause of the accident is still unknown though it looks like some gravel at the edge of the road may have given way. It is not clear yet whether any charges will be laid.
“We have completed the on-scene investigation but we are still taking statements,” he said.