Church bus crashes in Atlanta area; several injured

Friday, 09 Jun, 2017

One person was killed and at least 21 were injured on Thursday when a bus chartered by a church youth group overturned on a major road southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, local media reported. Slay says some of the injuries are critical.

WSBAuthorities render assistance to injured people in an overturned church bus, June 8, 2017, in Atlanta.

The church group was from the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, police said. Firetrucks and ambulances swarmed the area near Atlanta's airport.

At Grady Memorial Hospital downtown, officials there said they are treating four patients in critical condition.

One of those church members is Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver. The church said it was carrying adults and high school students in grades 11 and 12.

Images from the scene showed the bus on its roof and another vehicle underneath it. The girl who died was not a student in the district, he said. Partrena Smith said the bus was carrying more than three dozen people and added the National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation moving forward.

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But Hardemon is skeptical as on that front well, adding: "I don't believe that, necessarily, a stadium will revitalize an area". The stadium would be the economic driver in the neighbourhood as Overtown is known to have endured economic difficulties.

The church asked people for prayers on its Facebook page.

"Please pray for our Sparkman community members and students on the Mt. Zion bus that crashed this afternoon in Atlanta", Sparkman High School posted on its Facebook page. "That's all we know right now, we're trying to get more information".

Vandiver said he spoke with both shortly after the accident but neither could provide any real details.

"The students and the patients were shaken by the incident", Daniel Jackson with Atlanta Medical Center South said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information but hadn't yet made a decision to launch a team.