A charter passenger bus carrying high band school students from Texas crashed Tuesday morning on Interstate 10 at mile marker 57 near the Alabama/Florida line.
At least one person has died in the bus crash, according to the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.
The crash shut down I-10 in both directions.
Baldwin County authorities tell FOX10 News the bus fell off westbound I-10 into a ravine at Cowpen Creek around 5:30 a.m. Sources say the bus was carrying students back home to Channelview, Texas, which is in the Houston area. They were traveling on a school trip to Disney World in Florida, we're told.
The students are members of the Channelview High School Falcon Band.
Several ambulances and helicopters were used to evacuate injured passengers, said Asst. Chief Deputy Anthony Lowery with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said the bus was carrying 45 people.
At least 12 of the passengers were seriously hurt, with many others also suffering injuries. we're told.
Several hospitals were placed on alert for the injured.
Mack said the bus was lying on its side, about 50 feet down the ravine. Rescuers had to repel down into the ravine to reach the bus, and some passengers were evacuated using ropes, Mack said.
Some were rescued by firefighters, and others were carried out by deputies, Mack said. He said at least one person had to be cut out of the wreckage.
At least one helicopter landed at USA Medical Center in Mobile, about 7 a.m.
Mike Burke from Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, said that hospital received approximately 20 patients from the accident. He could not provide information about the extent of their injuries or conditions.
The Sheriff's Office said injured people were taken to hospitals in Baldwin County as well as Pensacola.
Officials said the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency facility in Robertsdale, Alabama, would be used as a staging area to reunite non-injured passengers with families.
The Baldwin County call center is being brought online to field calls regarding the passengers and their locations, according to the Sheriff's Office. The call center number is 251-972-6807.
We will be updating this story throughout the morning and day.
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