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Tire blowout eyed in latest fatal New York tour bus crash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A tire blowout might have caused the weekend crash of a tour bus near Rochester, New York, that killed two people and injured 35 others, authorities said.

The bus, operated by Bedore Tours of North Tonawanda, was carrying 37 tourists from India to Niagara Falls from Washington, D.C. when it crashed on Sunday on Interstate 390 in the town of Avoca, about 55 miles southeast of Rochester, New York State Police said.

A preliminary report indicated the crash may have been caused by a tire blowout, according to Don Rodbourn, a state police investigator. But he said the cause officially remained under investigation.

The identities of the passengers were not yet publicly released. State police said they would release more information later in the day.

The crash left two people dead, and three passengers were listed at hospitals in guarded condition, authorities said.

The most seriously injured passengers were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where a hospital spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking more information.

Calls to Bedore Tours also were not immediately returned.

The accident was the most recent in a series of fatal crashes involving tour buses in the region.

In late June, a tour bus driver was killed and several passengers were injured when a bus traveling to New Jersey from Kentucky rear-ended a tractor trailer on the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Pittsburgh.

Four people were killed in May when the driver of a Sky Express bus headed to New York City fell asleep and the bus crashed in Virginia. The company was found to have dozens of past violations for fatigued driving.

In March, 15 people were killed when a bus returning from a Connecticut casino veered off a highway in New York City.

Two days later two people, including the driver, were killed in a bus crash on a New Jersey highway.

(Reporting by Dan Wiessner, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Bohan)

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