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(UPDATE: Sept. 16 @ 11:30 am) - The two students who died in a bus crash on Vancouver Island over the weekend have been identified, but their names aren't being made public.
Both were 18-year-old students, a woman from Manitoba and a man from the United States.
The pair died when a bus carrying 45 University of Victoria students crashed on a gravel road between the communities of Port Alberni and Bamfield late Friday night.
The students were on their way to Bamfield Marine Science Centre when the crash happened.
Sharie Minions, mayor of Port Alberni, said the nearly 80-kilometre road is mostly gravel and "challenging at the best of times."
Counselling services are being offered to survivors on the UVic campus and additional support is available to help students continue their studies.
(Original story: Sept. 14 @ 10:45 am) - The University of Victoria has released a statement confirming that two of their students were killed in a bus crash last night.
The Port Alberni Fire Department said that a bus carrying UVic students bus rolled over between Port Alberni and Bamfield. Two students were declared deceased at the scene.
Last night was tough. A bus carrying @uvic students crashed on #BamfieldMain. Resources from #PAFD, @BC_EHS, RCMP & @RCAF_ARC all responded in force. Unfortunately, 2 passengers perished on-scene. Our thoughts are with the family & friends affected. #portalberni #bamfield #uvic pic.twitter.com/THbn1h0dg2— Port Alberni Fire (@portalbernifire) September 14, 2019
The university said that they students were on their way to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre.
“Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the students’ families and loved ones, to whom we offer our sincerest condolences. We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community, including roommates, friends, classmates and professors who were in contact with them during their time on campus,” said a statement from Jamie Cassels, president of the University of Victoria.
“The university has put in place measures to help those closest to these students deal with this trying situation. As a matter of privacy, the university will not be disclosing personal information about students”
The university is encouraging students who need support over the weekend to contact Campus Security Services at (250) 721-7599 for counselling services.
The two students have not been identified, and the university says that they wish to respect the families’ privacy.