At least 4 dead in U.S. tour bus crash in Canada
SUSSEX, New Brunswick (CNN) -- A Massachusetts tour bus carrying about 40 middle school students was involved in a crash near here Friday, killing at least four children, authorities said.
At least 37 people were injured, 11 of them seriously, said Patricia Crowdis, spokeswoman for Saint John Regional Hospital, about 45 minutes from the accident scene. She said some of the victims were still en route to Saint John and another area facility.
The bus was carrying a group of about 40 students and five chaperones from Oak Hill Middle School in Newton, Massachusetts, Principal Marvin Shapiro told WBZ-AM in Boston. The students, all band members from the seventh and eighth grades, were traveling to Halifax to play for a middle school that had visited them last year, and to play in a band festival over the weekend.
The accident happened about 5:15 a.m., Crowdis said. Shapiro said one of the chaperones told him most of the passengers were asleep when the accident occurred.
"This is a tragedy," Shapiro told WBZ. "We just have to pull ourselves together and be supportive of the kids."
At the accident scene, investigators combed through papers and debris littering the side of the highway. The left side of the bus was smeared with mud and grass, indicating it had fallen onto its side. Windows and luggage compartment doors were also missing or smashed.
The four killed were students from the seventh and eighth grades, said Newton Public School Superintendent Jeffrey Young. He identified them as eighth-grader Mellissa Leung and seventh-graders Kayla Rosenberg, Greg Chan, and Stephen Glidden.
Crowdis said authorities initially believed a fifth person had been killed because the student was pinned underneath the overturned bus and had serious injuries.
Newton Public School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said counselors, teachers and clergy members were at the school providing counseling and support for the school community. The school was in session Friday, and would be open through the weekend staffed with crisis counselors, he said.
"Kids react in different ways," Shapiro said. "Some are very sad and crying; others are shocked. It runs the entire gamut."
Young said Air Canada and several private pilots had offered to fly parents and students from Boston to Canada.
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