Nightly News | April 11, 2013
>>> two people were killed. dozens hospitalized after a charter bus packed with seniors headed for a casino crashed outside dallas, texas, this morning. it's the latest in a string of fatal tour bus accident. safety officials seem almost powerless to prevent them. our report tonight from nbc's tom costello.
>> reporter: the call in irving, texas, was for all available ambulances. trapped inside and under an overturned motor coach , dozens of senior citizens screaming for help.
>> bodies stacked on top of each other. blood everywhere.
>> just moaning, crying.
>> reporter: ernie johns survived with bad cuts and bruises.
>> people were piled everywhere, you know. thrown everywhere.
>> reporter: it happened on highway 161 not far from dfw airport . the bus hit a rubber barrier and ricocheted across two lanes of traffic into a grassy median before striking a concrete dividerer and rolling over. at least two dead. more than 40 injured.
>> you can have severe internal bleeding . one patient is in surgery because of internal bleeding .
>> reporter: the bus was operated by card call coach line taking seniors to a casino in oklahoma. the company has a good reputation. no crashes or serious violations. but it's the latest in a recent series of terrible motor coach accidents. two dead in pennsylvania, one in new york, eight killed in los angeles , nine in oregon. in a lettererer last week the d.o.t. warned the nation's bus companies there have been far too many crashes and enforcement strike teams are taking unsafe operators off the road.
>> we are trying to raise the culture of safety within the motor coach industry is so it's right there with the airline industry .
>> reporter: in 2007 government crash tests determined lap and shoulder seat belts would improve bus safety but the government still doesn't require them.
>> three-point belts have been demonstrated to provide better occupant protection. certainly side impact and roll over crashes they perform better.
>> reporter: millions of americans ride motor coaches every day. 700 million passenger trips each year. each of them covered under the same safety regulations . but federal investigators say many bus operators need to truly make safety a top priority . tom costello, nbc news, washington.