CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Chattanooga officials say an elementary school bus crash killed several children and sent 23 people to area hospitals.
Police Chief Fred Fletcher said 35 schoolchildren were on the bus Monday afternoon.
Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at least five victims were found dead on the bus and another died at a local hospital. Melydia Clewell, spokeswoman for the district attorney, later confirmed the number.
However, police and fire officials have yet to confirm the number of deaths.
Fletcher said at a news conference that the Hamilton County bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash, which happened along Talley Road at 3:30 p.m. local time.
The students on board ranged from kindergarten through fifth grade.
During a press conference, police said speed is being investigated “very, very strongly” as a contributing factor, and a warrant has been filed to retrieve the “black box” from inside the bus.
At the state Capitol in Nashville, Gov. Bill Haslam called the crash “a tragic event” and offered assistance.
Fletcher said police were interviewing the bus driver to determine what happened.
The bus was carrying students from Woodmore Elementary.
Col. Tracy Trott with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said on Twitter his “heart goes out to the families of the children that were killed and injured in the school bus crash in Chattanooga this evening.”