Texas high-school students injured in Disney trip bus plunge


LOXLEY, Ala. (AP) — A bus carrying Texas high-school band members home from Disney World plunged into a ravine before dawn Tuesday in Alabama, killing one person and injuring many others.

First responders used ropes to rappel down the 50-foot ravine in the middle of Interstate 10 to reach them, and then had to cut some of the victims free from the wreckage, said Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack, who confirmed the fatality.

About 45 people were on board, and were brought to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida, either by helicopter or ambulance, he said.

The sheriff said it wasn't immediately clear what caused the bus to enter the grassy median, which abruptly ends at a steep embankment where the interstate passes over Cowpen Creek. The crash happened about 5:30 a.m., crunching the bus and leaving the passengers exposed to chilly temperatures.

Rescuers used every piece of equipment on every truck to reach them, Mack said: "This is what we call an all-out."

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 the injured were flown to hospitals including emergency rooms in Mobile and Pensacola, Fla., plus a free-standing emergency room in rural Baldwin County, said Chris Elliott, a Baldwin County commissioner who helped out at the county emergency management center after the crash.

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