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Bus Crash Kills 1 Outside Washington

One person is dead after a commercial bus overturned on an Interstate 270 ramp Sept. 29, 2010, outside Washington, D.C., according to officials.
CBS
Updated at 7:27 p.m. ET

A commuter bus plunged off a highway Wednesday outside the nation's capital, killing one person and injuring at least a dozen, including children, authorities said.

Parents and children were aboard the bus that fell 45 feet off a skyramp of the Capital Beltway and landed below along Interstate 270 in Bethesda, said Maryland State Police Sgt. Michael Brennan.

Montgomery County Fire Assistant Chief Scott Graham told CBS Radio News that all passengers are out of the bus. Graham confirmed that one passenger was killed, two passengers have critical life-threatening injuries, two more have critical non-life-threatening injuries and eight others have minor injuries.

Television footage showed crews in yellow jackets and helmets walking up ladders and crawling into the holed-out windows of the bus. Rescuers spread out tarp on the roadway where a woman lay with a brace around her neck and held a compress to her head. Police dogs were searching the area in case people were ejected from the bus.

Some children also sat in the triage areas surrounded by backpacks, including a girl with a white bandage wrapped around her head. A firefighter could be seen carrying a child in his arms, while others were taken away on stretchers.

Montgomery County fire department spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia said crews had to extricate four trapped people.

The injured are being transferred to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, CBS News affiliate WUSA-TV in Washington reports.

Ronna Borenstein, a spokeswoman for Suburban Hospital, said 11 patients were brought there. She said two adults were in fair condition and that five adults and four children were in good condition.

The severely damaged white bus, with green lettering reading "Wolf's," is sitting upright just over a jersey wall from a lane of I-270. Rescue workers have propped up ladders to reach inside the shattered windows.

A person who answered the telephone at Pennsylvania-based Wolf's Bus Lines said she had no information about the crash.

Officials said the children were not public school students.

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen said she was shocked to learn of what she called probably the worst accident in her 10 years in local public office.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those people, those children," Floreen said.