University of Mo. Student Killed in KC-Bound Bus Crash

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LITCHFIELD, Ill. -- A University of Missouri graduate student was killed and over twenty more were injured when a commercial bus crashed into an overpass pillar on a southern Illinois interstate.

According to officials with the Megabus coach line, there were 81 people on board the Chicago-to-Kansas City bus. The bus had stops scheduled for St. Louis and Columbia before it's scheduled arrival in Kansas City around 7:30 Thursday night.

Aditi Avhad, 25, was the one fatality in the crash. She was from India, studying Health at the Univeristy of Missouri.

"I just felt a really huge impact and when I came to my senses, it was just people in the aisles and the medians," said one passenger.

The accident occurred near Litchfield, about 55 miles northeast of St. Louis, authorities told CNN.  According to authorities, over 20 people were taken to local hospitals for treatment of various injuries.

"Safety remains our No. 1 priority," Megabus said in a statement on Thursday evening. "The thoughts and prayers of our entire staff go out to the passengers involved."

The Megabus terminal in Kansas City is located near Third and Grand Avenue in the City Market. There is no word if anybody from Kansas City was on the bus at the time of the accident.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Administration will be working with local authorities to investigate the cause of the accident.

Friends and family of Megabus passengers can call (217) 324-9075 for information.

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