Six or more students were murdered and 23 others were harmed, after a school bus hit a home in Chattanooga, TN, authorities said. Neal Pinkston, District Attorney for Hamilton County told media outlets that five individuals were killed at the scene and one passed away at a hospital. Pinkston’s office reported that there were several students in critical condition.
Firemen said there were roughly 35 students on the bus when the accident happened at around 3:30 p.m. Fred Fletcher, chief of Chattanooga police said 23 patients had been transported to a hospital nearby, and the bus driver has been cooperating with police. The reason for the mishap was not promptly clear, but rather Fletcher said that speed might be “one contributing factor.”
Fletcher stated, “Our hearts go out, as well as the hearts of all these people behind me, to the families, the neighborhood, the school, for all the people involved in this, we assure you we are doing everything we can.” He called the accident, “every public safety professional’s worst nightmare.”
The bus was transporting the students from Woodmore Elementary, which were in kindergarten through fifth grade. Chattanooga police Assistant Chief Tracy Arnold said authorities would not disclose the students that died or their ages, until their guardians were informed. A neighbor told WTVC that kids were exiting out of the roof hatch, after the crash. According to Chattanooga Times Free Press, two students were seen lying on stretchers in a front yard, getting treatment from the first responders.
The paper reported that a few kids walked away from the crash with only cuts. Other media outlets reported it took around two hours to get the last students off the bus. TV slots reported that individuals organized to donate blood, while others had to schedule an appointment for the following day.