A bus carrying young members and adult chaperones of a Pennsylvania church crashed Sunday afternoon, sending more than 30 people to hospitals, officials said.
The bus was traveling on Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County when the driver lost control for some reason and left the roadway, Pennsylvania State Police said. The bus crossed State Route 25 and struck a railing before coming to a stop in a wooded area about 50 yards from the side of the road, officials said.
Everyone on the bus “suffered injuries to varying degrees” and was taken to nearby hospitals, police said.
“At that time, we transported 32 of them to local hospitals. Several went by helicopter, mainly by ground EMS, to several county hospitals, ”said Tremont Fire Chief Brian Eisenacher, according to NBC affiliate WBRE of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Five of those on the bus were in critical condition and a firefighter was treated for minor injuries, officials said.
Eisenacher said at least 20 EMS units responded and everyone was on their way to hospitals within the hour.
“Incidents like this require a lot of manpower to get people off the bus and then get them off in the ambulances waiting here. It takes a bunch of people to accomplish something like this, ”Eisanacher said.
People on the bus were from Lives Changed By Christ Church in Lancaster County, WBRE reported. The church and limousine company that hired the bus did not immediately respond to NBC News requests for comment on Monday.