A bus carrying dozens of elementary school students crashed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Monday, killing at least six children and sending 23 people to a local hospital with injuries, authorities said.Five children were found dead on the bus and another died at a hospital, said Melydia Clewell, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County District Attorney's office.Rescue teams were still going through the bus so the number of fatalities could change, she said. There are two or three children at the hospital "who could go either way," she said.Students on the bus, which carried as many as 35 passengers, were in kindergarten through fifth grade, a spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said. That would make them roughly ages 5 to 10.Asked about the crash following a budget hearing in Nashville, Governor Bill Haslam said the state would offer its assistance.
"It's a sad situation anytime there's a school bus with children involved, which there is in this case," he said.Photographs issued by the Chattanooga Fire Department showed the bus on its side, wrapped around a tree.
The bus driver is being questioned and cooperating with investigators, the Chattanooga Police said on Twitter. Twenty-three people were transported in ambulances to a local hospital, and the last patient was extricated from the bus, the fire department said.
Police Chief Fred Fletcher called the accident "every public safety professional's worst nightmare," the Times Free Press reported.Two bloodied students laid on stretchers in a front yard nearly an hour after the crash receiving attention from first responders, while others not taken to the hospital appeared dazed with cuts on their faces, the newspaper said on its website. (Reporting by Frank McGurty and Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Howard Goller and Lisa Shumaker)
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