Chicago Traffic

What happened as 3 school buses crashed while taking kids on Six Flags field trip

Authorities said minor injuries were reported at the scene, but further information on conditions or if those injuries involved students was not released

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Nearly a dozen students were hospitalized after multiple buses were involved in a crash while transporting eighth graders to Six Flags Great America for a field trip Tuesday, officials said.

According to Illinois State Police, the multi-unit crash involving at least three school buses took place just after 8:30 a.m. on northbound Interstate 55 at milepost 246 in Grundy County.

There, police said the school buses were traveling in the northbound right lane "as traffic slowed to a stop." One of the buses was unable to stop in time, striking another bus and sparking a chain-reaction crash that sent the second bus crashing into a third.

Fire officials said each bus was carrying between 20 and 30 students, in addition to staff and drivers, making for 103 people in total between the three buses.

A small fire sparked in one of the school bus battery compartments, but officials said that was extinguished "quickly" by fire crews.

Police said 11 children were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, but fire officials said 12 students were hospitalized.

Morris Hospital confirmed two students were transported to their hospital, none in serious condition, while Silver Cross Hospital said four patients were transported to their emergency room. It was not clear where the remaining students were taken.

Authorities said no other vehicles were involved and the remaining students returned to their school and were released to their parents.

The driver of the bus that sparked the crash was citied for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash, according to state police.

The right lane of I-55 was shut down for hours following the crash but had reopened as of 12:20 p.m.

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