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Tour bus hits Miami airport overpass; 2 dead, others hurt

A bus in Miami carrying mostly elderly Jehovah's Witnesses accidentally crashed into an overpass too low to accommodate it. NBC's Craig Melvin reports.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET: A bus hit an overpass at Miami International Airport on Saturday, killing at least two people and injuring more than two dozen on board, officials said.

One person died at the scene and another at a hospital. 

Three other passengers were listed in critical condition, NBCMiami.com reported. The bus was chartered by a Jehovah's Witness group headed to a church convention in West Palm Beach. 

The bus, which officials described as "heightened" but not a double-decker as originally reported, hit the overpass going into the airport's arrivals section on Saturday morning, airport spokesman Greg Chin said. The bus was going about 20 mph when it clipped the roof entrance.


Chin said 32 people were on the bus, and all have some sort of injuries. Of them, 31 were transported, according to the police report. Most of the injured were able to walk away from the bus, a Miami-Dade dispatcher said.  

Betty Yu / NBC 6

Crews assist at the scene of the bus accident at Miami International Airport on Saturday.

The arrival area remained blocked off by fire trucks and police cars Saturday morning.

Miami-Dade police Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz said the bus is privately owned and typically used for tours. It was not immediately clear where the bus was headed, but Cordero-Stutz said the driver, 47-year-old Ramon Ferreiro of Miami, was unfamiliar with the area and did not intend to wind up at the airport.

Buses are supposed to travel through the departure area, not the arrival section, because it has a higher clearance for large vehicles, Chin said.

The overpass had a clearance of eight feet and six inches, while the bus was about nine feet tall. 

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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