STORY: Mangled metal sits as dozens of investigators try to piece together how a passenger train collided with a double-decker city bus in Ottawa on Wednesday (September 18), killing at least six people.

The collision sheared off the front of the bus and caused the engine of the VIA Rail train to derail.

One bus passenger recalled the moments before the crash.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED BUS PASSENGER SAYING:

"The bus driver jammed on the brakes, his lights were all flashing, the thing was coming down and it just wasn't quick enough, I guess. (REPORTER ASKS: THE GATE WAS COMING DOWN?) "Yes. Oh yeah, the gate was down."

Ambulances and fire trucks swarmed the scene and transported dozens of injured people to area hospitals.

Officials say investigators are looking for the event recorder to find out how fast the bus was traveling.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says the city's flags are at half-staff to mark the tragic loss of life.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) OTTAWA MAYOR JIM WATSON SAYING:

"Our focus as a city today is to care for those families who have lost a loved one, as well as to ensure we provide the best possible care for those who have been injured and affected by this accident."

Passengers on the train say they felt a small impact.

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