Tour bus crashes into fences at 24 Sussex

OTTAWA — A water bus that offers sightseeing tours in Ottawa crashed into barriers at the entrance to 24 Sussex, the Prime Minister’s official residence which is unoccupied.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) said it was notified of the incident shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday and no one was injured. Patrol officers were dispatched to the scene.

The company offering guided tours aboard these buses, Lady Dive Tours, told The Canadian Press that the incident occurred during routine tests that are done every morning.

Only the driver was in the vehicle and he was not injured, a media relations official said.

Lady Dive Tours was conducting checks on Wednesday to determine the exact cause of the incident. The company’s director of operations, Leon Harris, said the bus will be towed into a garage and taken out of service for the remainder of the tourist season.

First, the bus was towed further down Sussex Street, near the French Embassy. While the vehicle did not appear to be heavily damaged, a large portion of the fence was completely knocked down.

Police tape surrounded the scene of the incident and employees of the National Capital Commission (NCC), which is responsible for the official residences, were on site.

A spokeswoman for the NCC said the organization was working to secure the scene and that it was « cooperating with the police investigation ».

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not live at 24 Sussex because the building requires major repairs. Instead, he resides at Rideau Cottage, located on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General.

In another seemingly unrelated incident, a driver was arrested after crashing into a Wellington Street gate leading to Parliament Hill.

The OPS said the collision happened around 3:30 a.m. early Wednesday morning. Security infrastructure prevented the vehicle from entering the scene and the fence was only slightly damaged, it was said.

A nearby officer immediately arrested the man, the OPS said.

« The police investigation is continuing and charges will ensue, » it said in a statement late Wednesday morning.

The investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the Parliamentary Protective Service.

Wellington Street, across from Parliament Hill, has been closed to normal traffic since last February, when “Freedom Convoy” protesters paralyzed the federal capital’s downtown core for weeks.


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