Report: At least 13 killed in California tour bus crash

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Oct 23 (Reuters) - A tour bus crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer on a Southern California highway before dawn on Sunday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 31, an NBC affiliate reported.

The bus was traveling west on Interstate 10 when the crash occurred near Palm Springs, a city about 100 miles (160 km) east of Los Angeles, the television station reported.

The Riverside County Coroner's Office confirmed 13 people aboard the bus were killed, the station said.

See images of the tragic crash:

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California tour bus crash
Investigators speak to each other at the scene of a mass casualty bus crash on the westbound Interstate 10 freeway near Palm Springs, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich
An investigator documents the scene of a mass casualty bus crash on the westbound Interstate 10 freeway near Palm Springs, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich
A mangled bus from the Holiday Bus Lines is seen after being towed from the scene of a mass casualty crash on the westbound Interstate 10 freeway near Palm Springs, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich
Investigators confer at the scene of a mass casualty bus crash on the westbound Interstate 10 freeway near Palm Springs, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich
Workers cut away debris from the front of a bus involved in a mass casualty crash on the westbound Interstate 10 freeway near Palm Springs, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich
Investigators confer at the scene of a mass casualty bus crash on the westbound Interstate 10 freeway near Palm Springs, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The National Transportation Safety Board said it will investigate the fatal crash and is sending an investigative team to the crash site.

Photographs from the scene showed the front of the tour bus wedged inside the back of the trailer, with emergency workers using metal ladders to reach the inside of the bus. A tow truck was used to separate the vehicles, local media including the Desert Sun newspaper reported.

The injured were being treated at local hospitals, while all westbound lanes of the interstate were closed near the crash, according to the reports.

The bus had left the Red Earth Casino in Salton City, California, and was headed to Los Angeles when the crash was reported to the California Highway Patrol at 5:17 a.m. (1217 GMT), the NBC affiliate said.

(Reporting by David Ingram in New York and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Bill Trott and Sandra Maler)

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