CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanooga police say an elementary school bus crash left at least six people dead and sent at least 23 people to area hospitals.
Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston told media outlets Monday evening that five people died at the scene and one died at the hospital.
Earlier in the afternoon, Police Chief Fred Fletcher said 35 school children ranging from from kindergarten through fifth grade were on the bus Monday afternoon.
He did not have information about the extent of injuries or how many of the injured and killed were children. Chattanooga Police Assistant Chief Tracy Arnold said earlier officials would not identify the students who died, or their ages, until parents were notified.
The last patient was extricated from the mangled bus around 5:23 p.m.
Fletcher said at a news conference that the bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash, and the bus driver is cooperating and being interviewed by police.
While, it’s not ye known what exactly led to the crash, Fletcher did say at a press conference later in the evening that “speed is being investigated very, very strongly as a factor in this crash.” However, other factors are being looked at as well.
At the state Capitol in Nashville, Gov. Bill Haslam called the crash “a tragic event” and offered assistance.
The bus was carrying students from Woodmore Elementary.