Officials: Tour bus crash near national park in Utah kills 4

At least four people are dead after a tour bus crashed near a national park in southern Utah Friday morning. (Garfield County Sheriff's Office)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A tour bus carrying tourists crashed near a national park in southern Utah, killing at least four people and critically injuring up to 15 others, authorities said Friday.

The morning wreck near Bryce Canyon National Park, known for its distinctive landscape of narrow red rock spires, left 12 to 15 people with "very critical injuries," the Utah Highway Patrol said on Twitter.

The bus with 30 people aboard crashed near a highway rest stop about 7 miles from the park entrance.

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Highway Patrol photos show the top of a white bus smashed in and one side peeling away as it rests mostly off the side of a road near a sign for restrooms.

Authorities were tending to people on the road, and others stood around covered in shiny blankets, the photos show.

Further details were not immediately available, including the cause of the crash, Cpl. Chris Bishop said.

Bryce Canyon has the world's largest concentration of irregular columns of rock, called hoodoos, according to the National Park Service website. The park, about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City, draws more than 2 million visitors a year.