5 Children Dead in School Bus Crash: Officials

Five schoolchildren have been killed after a bus hauling the kids from an elementary school crashed in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Five schoolchildren have been killed after a bus hauling the kids from an elementary school crashed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to officials.

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The bus, which was carrying about 35 students from Woodmore Elementary School, crashed at about 2:30 p.m. The students on the bus ranged between kindergarten and fifth grade.

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At least 23 people were taken to local hospitals, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Photos from the scene showed the bus on its side and wrapped around a tree as firefighters worked to extricate students from the vehicle.

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said the bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

"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 said at a press conference.

Authorities are interviewing the driver to determine what happened.

Hamilton County Public Schools, including Woodmore Elementary, will be open Tuesday, and grief counselors will be on hand for students.

“I understand if parents feel it necessary to keep their students home from Woodmore Elementary today, but want to once again remind everyone that extra trained personnel will be there to counsel and aid anyone seeking assistance in dealing with this horrible tragedy,” Hamilton County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly said in a statement. 

"Our next step as a school system in the coming days, weeks, and months is to work to heal as a community,” said Dr. Kelly.

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