At least one person is dead after a charter tour bus carrying high school students crashed near the Florida-Alabama state line, police said Tuesday.
Baldwin County (Ala.) Sheriff Hoss Mack said one person is in critical condition and five are in serious condition after the bus carrying high school students from Houston fell off Interstate 10.
Mark Kramer, public relations officer with the Channelview Independent School District, said the bus was taking Channelview High School band students back to Houston after a band trip to Disney World.
About 45 people were on board, and were brought to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida, either by helicopter or ambulance, Mack said.
The sheriff said it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the bus to enter the grassy median, which abruptly ends at a steep embankment where the interstate passes over Cowpen Creek. The crash happened at about 5:30 a.m. CT, crunching the bus and leaving the passengers exposed to chilly temperatures.
The bus fell about 50 feet and was crushed on impact below the bridge, trapping students and staff inside. It took rescuers about three hours to get everyone out of the wreckage.
It’s not yet confirmed whether the person who died was a student.
Will Condon, aspokesman for Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., said the hospital received 19 patients.
He said four of the patients were in serious condition. Seven of the 19 already have been released. The rest are in stable condition.
An image of the wreckage shows the crumpled bus landed on its side, far below the pavement. The interstate was closed in each direction as passengers were taken to hospitals.
A hotline was set up for Texas family members to call for a status update:251-972-6807.
Family members said 11 the students were on their way home to Channelview after a spring break trip to Disney. The bus that crashed was one of two carrying students on the trip. The other bus continued on to Texas.
Source: USA TODAY NETWORKPensacola (Fla.) News Journal
Photo Credit: Jesus Tejada via AP
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