5 Kids Among 7 Hurt in Jackson Park Crash

Authorities could not provide exact ages for the children, but did say they were all under 15

Five children and two adults were injured when the minivan they were in crashed into a tree and burst into flames Tuesday night in Jackson Park.

The 2001 Mercury van was headed westbound on East Marquette Drive, also known as 67th Street,  near Richards Drive when it hit a tree, police department spokeswoman Amina Greer said.

The resulting fire from the crash was so intense the vehicle's seats were burned down to the metal frames.

Three children were taken to Comer Children’s Hospital while two others were taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, fire officials said. Two adults were also taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"They are going to be alright," the grandfather to the five children told NBC Chicago outside Comer Children's Hospital.

The grandfather, who did not wish to be identified and declined to provide the names of those injured, said the children's mother was driving. Another passenger was a girlfriend to one of his grandchildren, he said.

The exact ages of the kids were not known as of 5 a.m., but authorities said they were all under 15 years. A child's car seat was seen laying outside the vehicle.

"We have so many grandkids I can't keep it all straight," the grandfather said.

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