Bus crash: the Channelview High School bus dives into the Alabama gully returning to Texas from the Disney trip

LOXLEY, Ala. – A charter bus carrying high school students to Houston, Texas, from a high school band trip to Disney World rushed 50 feet into an Alabama gorge early Tuesday and numerous children were abducted in helicopters to the emergency rooms. According to WKRG-TV, affiliate of CBS News, the bus driver died in the accident.

One person was hospitalized in critical condition and five others were included in critical condition, said Baldwin County sheriff's officials. The other victims are being treated for injuries that do not threaten life.

"At this time, we were able to confirm that 40 students and 6 Channelview adults were on the bus at the time of the accident, numerous injuries," the Channelview Independent School District said in a statement.

"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go to our students, employees and families who have been affected by this tragedy," the school district said. "We are now focused on getting everyone back safely to our community." We are extremely grateful for the first responders, hospital employees and volunteers from churches and schools in Alabama and Florida who have worked hard to help our students and comfort them in this. difficult situation. "

According to WKRG-TV, a deputy suffered minor injuries while removing people from the bus.

"We have multiple injuries, the bus sank into a ravine," said Chris Elliott, a Baldwin County commissioner who helped at the county's emergency management center after the accident. "The fire department and the officers have to go down to the rappel to enter the area."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also issued a statement in response to the accident.

"Cecilia and I are disconsolate at the news of this tragic accident, and we offer our prayers to all these young Texans and their families," Abbott wrote. "I pray for a speedy recovery for all the injured, and I am especially grateful for the heroic actions of Alabama's first responders that undoubtedly helped save lives today." Texas is prepared to offer any needed assistance as we gather around Channelview High School community during this difficult time. "

Helicopters and ambulances carried the wounded to three hospitals in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, plus an independent emergency room in rural Baldwin County, Elliott said.

"Everyone is being transferred to a hospital so they can at least check it," Elliott said.

The Mayor of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, Anthony Lowery, said the bus ran off the highway before dawn.

First Class Tours owns the bus that was involved in the accident. According to the safety records, the bus company has been involved in four accidents in the last two years, according to WKRG-TV.

The company issued a statement that says in part: "Our prayers are with the injured and their families at this time, we promise our help to cooperate with the local authorities in the investigation."

Sheriff Huey Moss Mack says Interstate 10 closed in both directions and the Alabama state police asked people to avoid the area.

Friends and family published about the trip of the school band on social networks. An image that shows the happy members of the band at Disney World was published just hours before the accident.

Channelview High School Falcon Band at Disney World.

Channelview High School Falcon Band / Facebook

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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