Amphibious tour bus crashes into gates of PM’s residence at 24 Sussex, no injuries

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An amphibious tour bus crashed into the front gates of the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive on Wednesday morning.

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The Ottawa Paramedic Service said it was called to the scene, but the call was cancelled when it was apparent there were no injuries.

The company that operates the bus, Lady Dive Ottawa, specializes in guided tours of the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau.

Lady Dive’s Facebook page advertises multilingual guided tours of Canada’s capital that “let you appreciate Ottawa’s historic scenery from every possible angle.”

Etienne Cameron, owner of Lady Dive Tours Ottawa, said in an email that there were no passengers on board at the time of the crash.

“We do a morning check on our buses daily prior to doing any tours,” he said, adding it involves driving the bus around without any passengers. “There were no injuries.”

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The residence is not occupied by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau due to the need for extensive repairs. He lives at Rideau Cottage on the Rideau Hall grounds, though he’s currently on vacation in Costa Rica.

No road closures were announced.

Shortly after noon, a heavy tow truck towed the bus away.

Police tape was strung around the scene and staff from the National Capital Commission, the Crown corporation responsible for preserving the capital area, were at the site as crews erected a temporary fence to close up the hole.

“The NCC is co-operating with the police investigation on the matter. In the meantime, we will work to secure the site,” said NCC spokesperson Dominique Huras in a statement.

Lady Dive Tours operations manager Leon Harris, who remained at the scene, said it’s still unknown how the crash occurred.

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“Something happened and the bus lost control,” he said.

He said the bus will be towed to a garage to be examined and will be off the road for the season. The tour company only has one other amphibious bus and it will be challenging to operate without the other, he said, since August is such a busy tourist season.

Nothing like this has ever happened before, he added.

The amphibious bus is designed to travel on roads and in the water. It typically carries tourists past major downtown Ottawa attractions, including the prime minister’s residence and Parliament Hill, and into the Ottawa River.

With files from the Canadian Press

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