A bus carrying Houston-area band students fell into a 50-foot ravine in Baldwin County, Alabama, early Tuesday morning. The bus struck a bridge support when it landed in the ravine. More than a dozen fire departments from Alabama and Florida responded to the scene.
At least six helicopters were also used in the rescue efforts. There were 48 people on the bus. Rescue teams had to cut some of the victims free from the wreckage, said Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack. Several injured people were taken to 10 hospitals in Baldwin County, the Alabama cities of Mobile, Daphne and Fairhope, and Pensacola, Florida. One person was in critical condition and five others were seriously injured.The driver was killed in the accident. Interstate 10 was closed in both directions near the Florida state line.
The bus' front axle appeared separated from the vehicle and at least two doors to luggage compartments had been ripped off the side. The roof of the bus also appeared damaged. 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. The bus was returning to Houston, Texas, after a school trip at Disney World in Florida. It’s unclear what caused the bus to fall into the ravine.