I-10 is closed at milemarker 5, and traffic is being diverted off the interstate onto Highway 90 as authorities respond to a charter tour bus crash.
Update 10:20 a.m.
The driver of the bus that crashed near the Florida-Alabama state line Tuesday morning was killed, according to Capt. John Malone with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Malone said it appears the bus went into the median of the interstate before plummeting down the approximately 50-foot ravine.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash and are not ruling anything out at this point.
All of the passengers of the bus have been accounted for. Malone said he believed 49 people were on board the bus.
Malone said two or three passengers had to be cut out of the bus to be freed.
Update 10 a.m.
Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola received a total of 19 patients from the bus crash near the Florida-Alabama line, said hospital spokesman Will Condon.
The victims began arriving at about 6:15 a.m. via air ambulance. Condon said the last patient arrived just after 9:30 a.m.
He says four of the patients are in serious condition. Seven of the 19 have already been released. The rest are in stable condition.
He said the hospital is setting up beds and other accommodations in its conference center for the discharged students to stay until their family members arrive.
Kelsi Gulig, a hospital spokeswoman, said the youngest patient the hospital received was 15. Gulig said the hospital also treated adults who were chaperones on the school trip.
Condon said hospital staff were well equipped to treat the injured.
“It was a calm cool effort by our entire trauma and emergency services. We train for this. You would have been proud of what you saw in there. I am very proud of our team,” he said.
A Baptist Hospital spokeswoman said only one person has been treated at the hospital. That person is in good condition. She said another person is en route and she did not know that person’s condition.
Update 9:30 a.m.
Workers at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola have brought inflatable mattresses into a conference center. They said the mattresses are to accommodate families of crash victims.
A spokesman for the hospital said Sacred Heart is treating about 20 passengers.
Up to 10 hospitals in Escambia County in Florida and Baldwin and Mobile counties in Alabama have received patients from the crash, including Baptist Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital and West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack said during a news conference.
A hotline has been set up for family members in Texas to call to get a status update. It is 251-972-6807.
Approximately a dozen fire departments from Alabama responded to the crash, as well as two to three fire departments.
Baldwin County initially requested one ECAT bus to respond to the crash, but a county spokeswoman said that request was later withdrawn.
Update 9:20 a.m.
Traffic on I-10 is bumper-to-bumper as crews work the crash.
Florida Highway Patrol is diverting all westbound traffic from Exit 5 to Nine Mile Road, and those who are continuing on toward Mobile are being directed down U. S. 90.
Update 9:10 a.m.
Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack said during a news conference that at least one person is dead after a charter tour bus crashed near the Florida-Alabama state line.
Mack said one person is in critical condition and five people are in serious condition.
The bus crashed at approximately 5:30 a.m. and was carrying approximately 45 people.
“For whatever reason the charter bus got into the median and ended up going into a ravine on Cow Pen Creek, a 50-foot ravine in the middle of the interstate,” Hoss said.
Update 8:45 a.m.
Mark Kramer, public relations officer with the Channelview Independent School District, said the bus was transporting Channelview High School band students back to Houston after a band trip to Disney World.
The Associated Press reported the charter bus plunged into a ravine.
Mike Burke, spokesman for Pensacola’s Sacred Heart Hospital, says his hospital is treating about 20 passengers. Burke had no details on the ages or conditions of the patients, but said he should have more information soon.
Joy Tsubooka, a spokeswoman for Escambia County, says the county has sent four ambulances with two emergency medical teams along with three fire units to the crash site. Tsubooka says the county has also sent a bus to help shuttle people from the scene.
University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile says it is treating one crash victim.
Interstate 10 is closed at milemarker 5 westbound, and traffic is being diverted off the interstate onto U. S. 90 as authorities respond to a charter tour bus crash in Alabama.
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Major Anthony Lowery told the AP that the bus plunged off I-10 into a deep ravine Tuesday morning, and multiple helicopters are responding.
Sheriff Huey Moss Mack says both lanes on the interstate have been closed. Traffic has been diverted and Alabama State troopers are asking people to avoid the area.
WKRG-TV is reporting that 12 to 20 people have been injured, and that officials say the bus was returning to Houston from a school trip.
WEAR-TV reports that the charter bus was carrying at least 52 people.