1 dead after school bus plunges into Alabama ravine

Multiple injuries were reported Tuesday morning after a charter bus carrying high school band members crashed into a ravine on Interstate 10 near the Alabama Florida line according to media reports

The crash, which happened around 5:30 a.m. local time on the eastbound side of I-10, killed one person and injured several people.

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. Authorities said numerous students were transported via helicopter to emergency rooms.

An official with the bus charter company, First Class Tours of Houston, said the company was working on a statement.

Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack confirmed the death, and Major Anthony Lowery said the bus ran off the highway.

Seven to eight medevac helicopters were used to take the injured to area hospitals, including University of South Alabama Hospital, AL.com reported. Rescuers had to repel down into the ravine to reach the bus, and some passengers were evacuated using ropes, Mack said.

Some were rescued by firefighters, and others were carried out by deputies, Mack said.


"Everybody is being transferred to a hospital to at least be checked out", he added.

"I pray for a speedy recovery for all those injured, and I am especially grateful for the heroic actions of the Alabama first responders that undoubtedly helped save lives today", Abbott said.

Around 20 patients went to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL, while others were taken to hospitals in Baldwin County, including USA Medical Center in Mobile.

The Channelview High band was traveling on two charter buses, FOX10 has learned, and the bus that was not involved in the accident is heading back home to Texas carrying band members and chaperones.

Officials said the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency facility in Robertsdale, Alabama, would be used as a staging area to reunite non-injured passengers with families. The call center number is 251-972-6807. We are in contact with law enforcement in Alabama trying to obtain further information. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are headed to the accident.

Mack said it was expected I-10 would remain shut down at least until noon.

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