At least 5 die after bus crashes near Merced

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MERCED, Calif. – At least five people were killed Tuesday morning after a bus crashed into a pole on Highway 99 in Merced County, authorities said.

Around 30 people were aboard the charter bus when it crashed just before 3:30 a.m. near the Liberty Avenue off-ramp, according to California Highway Patrol said.

The bus crashed into a pole, which went through part of the bus, KGO-TV reported.

The entire northbound side of the highway was closed due to the crash, according to CHP. The closure was expected to continue through mid-morning commute.

It was unclear how many people were injured. The identities of the people who died in the crash were not immediately released.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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