Tour bus falls off ravine on I-10, multiple helicopters respond

Tour bus falls off ravine on I-10, multiple helicopters respond

The bus, carrying students on a school trip from Houston, plunged down the ravine, with authorities rushing to the scene.

A second bus carrying students from the Disney trip is continuing on to Houston.

The injured have been taken to three hospitals in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, plus a free-standing emergency room in rural Baldwin County.

The Alabama Department of Transportation announced that eastbound traffic on I-10 was being diverted at Exit 44. The interstate is expected to be closed until noon CT.

Interstate 10 was shut down in both directions about 20 miles east of Mobile, AL, during the time helicopters transported the injured to about 10 area hospitals.

Baldwin County authorities tell FOX10 News the bus was traveling westbound on I-10 when it went into the median between travel lanes and fell into a ravine at Cowpen Creek around 5:30 a.m.

"Everybody is being transferred to a hospital to at least be checked out", he added. We're told five of the passengers were in serious condition and one in critical condition.

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Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola confirmed on its website that it had received 18 patients from the bus wreck on Tuesday.

An image of the wreckage shows the crumpled bus landed on its side, far below the pavement.

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

Channelview Independent School District spokesman Mark Kramer confirmed that the charter bus was carrying Channelview High School band members. That bus stopped after realizing what happened, but did not allow the students to get off, and eventually continued on toward Channelview, a Houston suburb of about 38,000.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will conduct an investigation into the bus crash, Lowery said. There were reportedly at least half-a-dozen helicopters needed to transport all the injured.

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

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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