1 dead after school bus plunges into Alabama ravine


An Alabama state trooper says the driver was killed when a tour bus carrying Texas high school students home from a Disney World trip plunged into a ravine.

One person died and others were injured when a bus carrying band members from a Texas school crashed in Alabama, authorities said Tuesday.

The students were from Channelview High School in the Houston area, local media reported.

WEAR-TV reports that the charter bus was carrying at least 52 people and the crash happened around 6 a.m. At least one is in critical condition and five have serious injuries, officials said. The interstate is expected to be closed until noon CT.

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Many others were injured in the Tuesday morning crash near the Alabama-Florida line on Interstate 10.

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

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".

An image of the wreckage shows the crumpled bus landed on its side below the highway.

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Lowery said uninjured passengers will be reunited with family members and Channelview school officials at Coastal Church on County Road 64 in Daphne, Alabama.

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 (9 to 12 meters) deep, according to Baldwin County Sheriff's Office spokesman Major Anthony Lowery. Authorities said numerous students were transported via helicopter to emergency rooms. Call center for confirmed familiesBaldwin County Alabama Call Center 251-972-6807 Channelview student talks to ABC13's Foti Kallergis about the moments the bus crashedMother of Channelview student speaks to ABC13 about crash DeWayne Benson, who was on the bus, told Foti that he was sleeping just before the bus crashed.

One image posted on the band's Facebook page hours before the crash showed a large group posing outside Disney World.

Robyn Bradley Bryan, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, said in an e-mail that there were "multiple injuries" in the early morning crash.

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The bus was operated by the First Class Tours charter company out of Houston.