6 dead in Ohio highway crash involving five vehicles
In a tragic accident, involving five vehicles, on the Ohio highway 6 people were killed and 18 others injured. Reports suggest a charter bus carrying students from a high school was rear-ended by a semi-truck.
The accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. local time on Interstate-70 near Etna Township, about 21 miles (34 km) east of Columbus, the Ohio state capital, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Visuals aired by the local media showed a large motor coach badly damaged after it was reportedly struck from behind by a big-rig truck. Its scorched wreckage remained largely intact. A damaged sport utility vehicle was also seen visible beside the truck.
Viral visuals taken by eyewitnesses show huge flames engulfing the vehicles as the large motor coach was seen stuck with the big-ruck truck after the expected collision.
John Wieber, a spokesperson for the Licking County Emergency Management Agency, said six fatalities had been confirmed. But it was not made clear how many were from the bus or whether any were among the victims who had been taken to hospitals.
The official cause of the crash is still under investigation. The chartered bus was carrying a group of high school students and their adult chaperones from the Tuscarawas Valley school system in eastern Ohio to a conference of the Ohio School Boards in Columbus. The event was postponed for the day following the crash.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in Licking County and at the Ohio Statehouse.
(With agency inputs)