At least one person was killed and many injured on Tuesday when a bus carrying high school students plunged into a ravine off the side of an interstate highway in Baldwin County, Alabama, the sheriff’s office said.
The chartered bus, one of two that was carrying the students back to Houston from Florida, fell into a ravine about 30 to 40 feet (nine to 12 meters) deep, according to Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Major Anthony Lowery.
I-10 is closed in Alabama, tour bus crash off the expressway into a 60 ft ravine. High School Band from Houston heading to Orlando. 12-20 injured ranging from minor to critical transported by lifeflight. Take Mobile hwy or Lillian as alternates. Be praying. pic.twitter.com/Irxx8crSB9
— Andrew McKay (@andrewmckay1620) March 13, 2018
Mike Burke, a spokesman at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, said about 20 patients had been brought to the hospital by ambulance and helicopter, “and more are on the way.”
“We have multiple injuries; the bus went down into a ravine,” said Chris Elliott, a Baldwin County commissioner who helped out at the county emergency management center following the crash. “The fire department and officers are having to rappel down into the area to get into it.”
Helicopters and ambulances took the injured to three hospitals in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, plus a free-standing emergency room in rural Baldwin County, Elliott said.
“Everybody is being transferred to a hospital to at least be checked out,” said Elliott.
Sheriff Huey Moss Mack says Interstate 10 has been closed in both directions. Traffic has been diverted and Alabama State troopers are asking people to avoid the area.
Channelview Independent School District spokesman Mark Kramer confirmed in a statement that the accident involved a charter bus carrying Channelview High School band members. Kramer said immediate details were limited and school authorities are in contact with law enforcement in Alabama to get more information.
One image posted on the band’s Facebook page hours before the crash showed a large group posing outside Disney World.