(AP) — A bus carrying Texas high school band members home from Disney World ran off a highway and plunged into a deep ravine before dawn Tuesday in Alabama, killing the driver and injuring many passengers. 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, according to Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack.
Mack said about 45 people were on board, and were brought to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida. 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 at about 5:30 am.
The bus charter company, First Class Tours of Houston, pledged to help local authorities investigating the crash in a statement that offered prayers for injured and their families.