UPDATE: Bus carrying deaf children overturns in Missouri

Friday, August 2, 2013 | 5:46 p.m. CDT; updated 7:19 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 2, 2013

DANVILLE — A charter bus carrying students from the Missouri School for the Deaf overturned along an interstate in eastern Missouri on Friday, sending 15 children and three adults to a hospital but causing no life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. as the eastbound bus was exiting Interstate 70 near Danville, about 75 miles west of St. Louis.

The children, who were between ages 10 and 18, were treated in the emergency room at University Hospital, along with the bus driver and two chaperones, hospitals spokeswoman Mary Jenkins said. She said the adults' injuries also appeared not to be life-threatening.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Sarah Potter said initial reports from the hospital indicated the children had "minor injuries — bumps and bruises, that sort of thing."

The superintendent of the Fulton school went to the hospital to help translate for the children. Jenkins said the hospital also brought in eight sign-language interpreters to help the children communicate.

The state-run School for the Deaf has residential and day programs for children in first through 12th grades. The bus was taking the children from the central Missouri campus to five drop-off points in St. Charles, St. Louis, Arnold, Sikeston and Cape Girardeau, Potter said.

Investigators believe the bus veered into the exit ramp, went up a hill and then through a stop sign at the top of the exit. From there, the bus went back down an entrance ramp on the other side of the intersection before overturning in an embankment, Missouri State Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The patrol, which was handling the investigation, didn't immediately return phone messages from The Associated Press.

Aerial photos showed the small, black bus on its side off the side of the interstate.

Education Department officials were contacting the children's parents and arranging to get them home, Potter said.

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