Scoop on the Next General Hospital Tragedy

Not again! The trouble-plagued city of Port Charles has seen many epic disasters in recent years — a killer virus, a towering inferno, colliding passenger trains — and now it's time to put the kiddies in some holiday jeopardy. ABC's General Hospital will kick off the new year by sending its young ones — ranging in age from tots to teenagers — on a Christmas vacation bus trip to snow country. That bus is forced to take an unplanned route due to weather trouble and will skid on black ice and flip over during the December 29 cliffhanger. When the show returns January 3, the bus will plummet down a steep ravine, thanks to some cool CGI tricks.

"Every once in a while we like to put the opera back in soap opera," says exec producer Jill Farren Phelps. "It's a dangerous and terrifying incident and the emotional ramifications will roll out for some time to come because this affects every family in town." Kids involved include Michael, Kristina, Molly, Morgan, Hunter and Cameron, many of them sired by mob kingpin Sonny Corinthos or closely connected to him. But Phelps swears this is no revenge crime. Nor is it the work of the show's mysterious arch-villain The Balkan, if that's what you're thinking.

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