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

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 bus was traveling west, carrying the students home from Central Florida when it drove into the median on Interstate 10 and then into the ravine at Cowpen Creek, about 5:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. ET), Mack said.

Mack did not identify the person killed but said several injured people were taken to 10 hospitals in Baldwin County, the Alabama cities of Mobile, Daphne and Fairhope, and Pensacola, Florida.

The crash occurred about 20 miles east of Mobile, Alabama at around 6am.

An Alabama state trooper said the bus driver died at the scene on Interstate 10 close to the to the Florida state line. "The fire department and officers are having to rappel down into the area to get into it".

Sheriff Huey Moss Mack said both lanes on the interstate have been closed.

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".

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Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Major Anthony Lowery said the bus ran off the highway before dawn. We're told five of the passengers were in serious condition and one in critical condition. The rest of the injured, including a Baldwin County deputy hurt during the extrication process, suffered minor wounds, he said.

"Everybody is being transferred to a hospital to at least be checked out", said Elliott.

An image of the wreckage shows the crumpled bus landed on its side, far below the pavement. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted, "Please join Cecilia & me in prayer and support for the Channelview students harmed by this bus crash". Authorities said numerous students were transported via helicopter to emergency rooms.

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.

A family member tells KHOU 11 the high schoolers were from Channelview, Texas and on their way back home after a trip to Disney, but Channelview Independent School District has not yet confirmed this information.

KPRC in Houston reports that First Class Tours owns the bus, and safety records indicate the company has had four crashes in the last two years.

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