Alabama Bus Carrying Band Students Returning from Disney Crashes

One person has died and as many as dozens are injured after a charter bus carrying band students from a Houston high school crashed into a ravine in Alabama Tuesday morning.

One person is in critical condition and five people are in serious condition, WKRG reports, in a bus crash that occurred while the band was traveling through Loxley, Alabama while returning home to Texas from Walt Disney World.

It is unclear if the fatality is a student or adult.

Alabama state troopers told KHOU 11 News the tour bus carrying at least 52 people fell from I-10 into a ravine east of Mobile.

Multiple helicopters responded to the crash that occurred around 6 a.m. First responders had to rappel into the 50-foot ravine to make rescues, the Houston Chronicle reported. A deputy suffered minor injuries while pulling people from the bus.

Witnesses said the bus was transporting students and chaperones from Channelview High School, just east of Houston. The students were returning home from a band trip.

The injured were taken to multiple nearby hospitals.

A call center was established at 251-972-6807 for family members looking for their relatives who were aboard the bus, authorities said.

"We have multiple injuries; the bus went down into a ravine," said Chris Elliott, a Baldwin County commissioner who helped out at the county emergency management center following the crash. "The fire department and officers are having to rappel down into the area to get into it."

An image of the wreckage shows the crumpled bus landed on its side, far below the pavement. The interstate was closed down in both directions as helicopters and ambulances took the injured to hospitals including emergency rooms in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, plus a free-standing emergency room in rural Baldwin County, Elliott said.

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

Channelview Independent School District spokesman Mark Kramer confirmed in a statement that the accident involved a charter bus carrying Channelview High School band members. Kramer said immediate details were limited and school authorities are in contact with law enforcement in Alabama to get more information.

Houston-based First Class Tours confirmed that the bus was operated by the company.

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“Prayers and thoughts are with our families,” company officials said.

Authorities said a second bus that was part of the trip was not involved in the crash and is headed back to Houston.