(CNN) — At least four people were killed, and multiple passengers critically injured when a tour bus crashed Friday near Bryce Canyon National Park, the Utah Highway Patrol said.
Multiple air ambulances and rescue crews were responding to the crash on Utah Highway 12 in Garfield County, the highway patrol said, adding that 12 to 15 passengers suffered “very critical injuries.”
The highway patrol said via Twitter that the tourists were Chinese speakers.
Employees of the nearby Bryce Canyon Resort told CNN their manager was called to crash scene to assist first responders with translating for the Chinese tour group. The manager is one of the few Chinese speakers in the area, the hotel staff said.
Some of the victims are expected to be treated at Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch, Utah, said Lance Madigan, a spokesman with Intermountain Healthcare.
The highway has been closed in both directions approximately 3.5 miles west of the park while authorities investigate the crash.
Utah’s Highway 12 is considered one of the most varied and scenic drives in the country. It connects a number of national and state parks, including Bryce Canyon National Park and Red Canyon on the Dixie National Forest.
Bryce Canyon is about 250 miles south of Salt Lake City and just over 40 miles north of the Utah-Arizona border.