At least 10 people have died after a prison bus left Interstate 20 and crashed into a train just outside Odessa, Texas.
Eight inmates and two correctional officers were killed, Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a press release.
Clark added that five people — four inmates and one staff member — have been taken to a hospital.
The bus was transporting prisoners from Abilene to El Paso when it crashed just outside the West Texas city of Odessa. The Odessa American reports:
“Sgt. Elizabeth Barney with the Texas Department of Public Safety with DPS and Sheriff Donaldson said the bridge was icy when the bus drove over it, causing the bus to drive off the bridge. Donaldson said the bus struck the train in the middle of the train cars, at which point the train dragged the bus for a bit before coming to a stop.”
“Their loved ones will be in our thoughts and prayers,” Brad Livingston, the department’s executive director, said in a statement.
Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. Severe Injuries:
West Texas Public Radio’s Tom Michael says a hospital spokesman tells him the injuries were severe.
He says the bus appears to have come off an embankment, not off an overpass as we reported earlier.
Tom says that the rail car that was hit by the bus was carrying UPS cargo, so at the moment UPS boxes are strewn all over the ground surrounding the railway.