Charter Bus Carrying Dozens of Students Plunges Into Alabama Ravine

Jesus Tejeda

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

Channelview ISD confirms the tour bus that crashed into a ravine in Alabama this morning was carrying band students from Channelview High School.

Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack said the students were returning to Houston, Texas, from a spring break trip to Disney World.

"At least 12 to 20 people have been injured in the crash".

The bus entered the median and then plunged into the ravine at about 5:30 a.m., the sheriff said.

Mack said the bus was lying on its side, about 50 feet down the ravine.

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The injured passengers, including one listed in critical condition and five in serious condition, were taken by helicopter or ambulance to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida, Mack said. The interstate is expected to be closed until noon CT. He said at least one person had to be cut out of the wreckage.

WEAR-TV reports that the charter bus was carrying at least 52 people and the crash happened around 6 a.m.

Officials said the bus was one of two Houston-bound charters traveling together and that no other vehicles were involved in the pre-dawn crash. Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack confirmed the death Tuesday morning while talking to news reporters. Chief Deputy Anthony Lowery with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. He also said officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were on their way to the crash scene.

The Sheriff's Office said injured people were taken to hospitals in Baldwin County as well as Pensacola.

Only hours before the crash, the band's Facebook page had been updated to show a large group posing outside Disney World, where the band performed at a music festival on Saturday. Kramer's statement said the district had only limited details in the immediate aftermath and was in contact with law enforcement in Alabama to get more information. They were going home to Channelview, Texas, a community about 15 miles from Houston.

First Class Tours, which operated the bus, said in a statement that the bus was carrying students home from Orlando, Florida, and the company is cooperating with investigators.

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