Five high school students and one adult have been transported to several hospitals after a collision involving a school bus in central Alberta.
RCMP said an officer from Didsbury, about 82 kilometres north of Calgary, came across the school bus rollover on Highway 2A at Township Road 320 on Monday morning.
“We can report that there were nine students, two teachers and the driver on the bus at the time of (the) collision,” police added in an update later in the day.
Rocky View Schools said in a statement that the students and teachers were from George McDougall High School in Airdrie and on their way to a field trip in Olds.
Emergency Medical Services said paramedics responded at about 10:30 a.m., and took multiple patients by ground ambulance to Calgary and Didsbury.
“A total of six individuals were transported to hospital,” spokesman Adam Loria said in an email.
Two youths and an adult were taken to hospitals in Calgary, while three youths were taken to Didsbury Health Centre.
Loria said all six had non-life-threatening injuries.
Rocky View Schools said the families of those who were on the bus have been notified.
“The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our first priority,” Tara de Weerd, director of communications for the school district, said in an email.
“Division and school supports are being offered to anyone at George McDougall who may want help.
“We are thankful to first responders for their care and to our staff and the bus driver who supported our students during this unfortunate accident.”
First Student, which operated the bus, said it’s thankful no serious injuries are being reported.
“Our thoughts are with those who were affected by this incident,” communications manager Jen Biddinger said in a statement.
She said the company is working with authorities and conducting its own review into what happened.
“Given this is an active investigation, we are not in a position to comment further,” she said.
RCMP said Didsbury officers remained at the scene early Monday afternoon.
“Road conditions at the time are believed to be the cause of the collision, however, it is still under investigation,” said the statement.
Motorists were told to avoid a portion of Highway 2A for several hours after the crash. RCMP said late Monday afternoon the road was “passable.”
RCMP said earlier in the day that they were responding to multiple collisions in the area, including about 12 between Carstairs and Olds on Highway 2, due to poor road conditions.
Albertans woke up to freezing rain ahead of a predicted snowfall that Environment Canada said could see accumulations of 10 to 15 centimetres by Tuesday.
Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct .23, 2023.