(Reuters) - A bus carrying dozens of Texas high school students on a trip veered across the median separating two lanes of an interstate highway in Alabama and plunged into a ravine, killing at least one person and injuring several others, authorities said.
The bus was taking about 45 passengers back home to Houston from Florida when it plunged into a 50-foot (15-meter) ravine at about 5:30 a.m. CDT (6.30 a.m ET), Baldwin County, Alabama, Sheriff Hoss Mack told reporters at the scene.
"For whatever reason, the charter bus got into the median and ended up going into a ravine," Mack said near the scene of the accident on Interstate 10 between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.
"We have one confirmed fatality," he said.
The injured passengers, including one listed in critical condition and five in serious condition, were taken by helicopter or ambulance to 10 hospitals in Alabama and Florida, Mack said.
The students were from Channelview High School in the Houston area, local media reported. School officials could not be reached for immediate comment.
Dozens of people posted messages of grief and sympathy on the school's Facebook page, saying they were praying for the students.
Officials said the bus was one of two Houston-bound charters traveling together and that no other vehicles were involved in the pre-dawn crash.
They said the accident's cause would be investigated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
The National Transportation Safety Board also said it was sending a team of six investigators to look into the crash.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)