OC Transpo has been struggling with a bus driver shortage and chronic service problems as they transition from busses to the new, delayed LRT line.
Police said investigators worked through the night to identify all three victims and contact their families and loved ones.
Several people found themselves trapped on the bus' upper level following the crash, and most serious injuries happened on the vehicle's upper right side, said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.
Two of the dead were riding the bus; one was on the platform at Westboro station, a major stop on the city's busway, he said.
The crash took place west of downtown at 3:50 p.m., at the beginning of rush hour, just as dusk was beginning to settle on the coldest day of the winter so far in the capital.
OC Transpo has issued notices saying detours are in effect for the Dominion and Westboro transit stations.
"There's no question that the weather adds complexity at the scene", said Bordeleau said.
He said police are now investigating what caused the collision; six officers were on site to look into the matter.
Witnesses described passengers being flung from the top of the bus out the front window.
Part of the Transitway, a main artery for commuters, was closed in the aftermath of the accident, and police warned people to stay away from the area. Police said this morning that no information regarding the identities of the three victims will be made public at this time. "I know all those impacted by this tragedy will be surrounded and supported by many", Bordeleau wrote in a tweet published late Friday evening.
Three people died; two were believed to have been on the bus, and one person was waiting on the platform. "My first thoughts are with those who have been injured and their families". Of those transported, 14 were in critical condition and 11 were in serious condition, paramedic chief Myles Cassidy said in the news conference later.
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