IRVING, TX - Two people were dead and dozens of others were taken to hospitals after a charter bus bound for Oklahoma casinos overturned on a Dallas-area turnpike Thursday morning, officials said.
At least 36 people were transported to hospitals after the crash on President George Bush Turnpike in Irving, Texas, said Dr. Paul Pepe, Irving Fire Department's medical director.
At least three were in critical condition, Pepe said. Because many of the passengers were elderly, medical personnel are monitoring even those with minor injuries closely, said Pepe, who also is chair of emergency medicine at Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital.
The northbound bus went off the right side of the road, hit a barrier, swerved left across lanes of traffic and struck a concrete median in a grassy area, Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel told CNN affiliate KTVT.
"It rode up on top of that concrete barrier, and then rolled on its right hand side where it came to rest," Haschel told KTVT.
It was the only vehicle involved in the crash, he said.
The bus driver survived and was sent to a hospital, Pepe said.
The bus, owned by a Dallas-area charter company, was taking people to casinos in Oklahoma, said Nick Robison of Irving's emergency management office.
Video from KTVT showed a bus on its side, surrounded by numerous emergency personnel. Traffic on part of the toll road was halted as responders tended to the scene.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it has sent a team of investigators to the scene of the wreck.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Lonny Haschel told KRLD radio that the bus slid off the busy highway in Irving, just east of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. He said two people were killed.
Video from the scene shows the bus tipped on its side in the center median along State Highway 161. Emergency workers were using emergency exits on top of the bus to get to passengers, some of whom were being wheeled to ambulances. Medical helicopters also were at the scene.
Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving confirmed that six patients from the wreck have been transported to the facility. Details weren't immediately available on their conditions. Hospital spokesman Tyler Adams says he believes more patients are on their way.
A spokesman for Baylor Medical Center in Irving said patients also were arriving at his hospital. Officials expected about a dozen patients from the crash.
The bus belongs to Cardinal Coach Line, based in nearby Mansfield. A man who answered the phone at the company confirmed the bus was owned by Cardinal Coach but declined further comment.