A passenger bus has gone off the road on Highway 401 near Prescott, Ont., sending at least 24 people to hospital, according to Ontario Provincial Police.

Const. Suzanne Runciman told The Canadian Press that the bus was carrying approximately 37 people, including the driver and a tour guide, when it hit a rock cut.

CTV Ottawa Anchor Graham Richardson reports that the passengers appear to be Asian tourists who do not speak English.

Brockville General Hospital said on Facebook that it had received five patients, and “each are in critical condition.”

“We have a Mandarin translator onsite to support them,” the hospital added.

“Another patient is being sent to Kingston Health Sciences Centre via Ornge,” the hospital said. Ornge is the province’s air ambulance service.

Kimberley Johnson, from the local radio station 104.9 JRFM, told CTV News Channel that the “front of the bus is completely gone.”

“I just spoke to OPP here on the scene and they say that two people were taken by air ambulance in critical condition,” Johnson said.

“Two (other) people were taken to hospital in critical condition by ambulance,” she added. Johnson said at least 20 were injured.

“The front and the side are smashed in, including where the doorway was,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that the bus has the words “Union Tour Express” on the side.

The Ottawa Paramedic Service said on Twitter just before 4 p.m. Monday that it was responding to the “major incident involving a bus.”

Local resident Steve Rainey told CTV News Channel that he saw a bus in a ditch and “resting in some trees.”

“I’m not sure exactly what happened,” he said.

“The bus is upright and it seems to have possibly rubbed along the rock cut.”

Ontario Provincial Police said on Twitter that all westbound lanes of the 401 are closed between Edward Street and Maitland Road.

Prescott is located about 100 kilometres south of Ottawa.

CTV News has dispatched a crew to the scene.