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8 hurt when tour bus catches fire in Oregon

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The bus, carrying 33 passengers, catches fire on Highway 101
  • Most of the injuries are minor
  • Officials say the fire is accidental

(CNN) -- Eight people were hurt when a tour bus caught on fire on an Oregon highway Sunday, authorities said.

The bus, with 33 passengers on board, was headed to Portland from the Cannon Beach area when the bus driver noticed smoke and flames coming from the front dash area, the Oregon State Police said.

The driver pulled onto the shoulder of Highway 101 north of Tillamook. When the bus door was opened, fire spread inside the bus, said Sgt. Greg Plummer.

The occupants escaped using an emergency exit.

Among the wounded was a 71-year-old woman from Wisconsin who was airlifted to a Portland hospital for burn and smoke inhalation injuries, the state police said. But most of the other injuries were considered minor, authorities said.

Officials closed the highway for an hour after the incident Sunday afternoon.

Authorities are not considering the bus fire a criminal matter and said the fire appeared to be accidental.

CNN's Rick Martin contributed to this report.