Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers at James Smith Cree Nation talk after multiple people were killed and injured in a stabbing spree on the reserve and nearby town of Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada September 5, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Montreal: More than 50 people have been hospitalized in western Canada after a passenger bus crashed on a highway, provincial authorities said.

The cause of the Saturday evening accident, which occurred on a highway some 330 kilometers (200 miles) east of Vancouver in an area of British Columbia hit by days of bad winter weather, has yet to be provided.

British Columbia Premier David Eby said he was "shocked and saddened" by the news.

"Our thoughts are with those impacted by the crash, their loved ones, and the first responders and health-care workers giving their all to treat people and keep them safe," he said in a statement.

Regional health authority Interior Health tweeted 53 patients were being treated at three hospitals but said it could not yet give details on patient conditions.

A portion of the highway impacted by the crash was closed into Sunday morning, provincial transportation authorities tweeted.

The accident occurred as brutal weather has battered wide swathes of North America, snarling transport and causing numerous deadly accidents during one of the busiest travel periods of the year ahead of Christmas and New Year holidays.