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4 seriously injured in bus crash

A tour bus carrying more than 30 passengers overturned on a Central New York highway Wednesday night, injuring several people.

A dispatcher for the Broome County Sheriff's Office said four people were seriously injured and 36 people suffered minor injuries.

He said the accident happened just after 7 p.m. on Interstate 81 in the southbound lane near Whitney Point, not far from Binghamton. It was not immediately known where the bus originated or where it was headed.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reported some passengers appeared to be injured and others trapped.

The Sun & Press-Bulletin reported the bus was on its roof. It said several people were on the side of the road wrapped in blankets and another was loaded into an ambulance.

Tour bus industry safety has drawn heightened attention since the March 12 crash of a bus returning to New York City's Chinatown after an overnight excursion to a Connecticut casino.

Fifteen people were killed when the bus flipped onto its side and struck a pole, peeling off its roof.

A passenger has said the driver fell asleep; the driver has said he was alert and well-rested. That crash is being investigated by state police and the National Transportation Safety Board.

A tour bus heading to Niagara Falls from Washington, D.C., crashed into a wooded median on Interstate 390 south of Rochester last month, killing two people and injuring at least 35, four of them critically.

The bus was owned by Bedore Tours of Wheatfield.

Since those crashes, New York has sidelined hundreds of buses and bus drivers in a stepped-up program to stop buses for safety evaluations.

Many drivers were found to have had multiple driver's licenses with histories of violations.

Last month, a fiery crash between a tractor-trailer and a tour bus in upstate New York killed the truck driver and injured at least 30 passengers on the bus.

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