Australians on board a bus which crashed in the United States after touring the Grand Canyon have escaped without serious injury, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says.
The bus was northbound on Highway 93 in Arizona on Friday night (US time), nearing the Nevada state line, when the driver is believed to have suffered a heart attack and lost control.
A DFAT spokeswoman in Canberra said the Australian Consulate General in Los Angeles had been in contact with the Silver State Transportation Bus Company and Arizona police.
‘‘US authorities confirmed no Australians were seriously injured in the crash,’’ she said.
‘‘Those with minor injuries were treated in hospital but have since been released.’’
Arizona highway patrol spokesman Carrick Cook said the bus hit a ravine, tore up a small hill, then bounced and lurched over rough terrain for more than 210m before stopping, damaging the front end but remaining upright.
‘‘We believe the driver experienced some sort of the medical condition and he just went off the road,’’ the patrol said in a statement.
No other vehicles were involved.
All 48 passengers were injured, but 27 of them were walking wounded with mainly bumps and bruises, Cook said.
The six passengers most seriously hurt were flown by helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, while 15 others with less severe injuries were rushed to area hospitals by road.
UMC spokeswoman Danita Cohen said the six were being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, such as broken bones and lacerations.
Most were over 50 years old, she said.