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Church bus crashes in Atlanta area; fire chief says 21 hurt

Smith said at least nine people were taken to hospitals, and two of them were in critical condition.

First responders tend to a female victim from a deadly vehicle-bus collision near Atlanta on Thu., June 8, 2017.

Harnering was one of several on a bus carrying students on their way to the airport for a mission trip to Botswana. Firetrucks and ambulances swarmed the area as traffic came to a standstill on the busy bypass. Two people are in critical condition.

Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver's wife and son were on the bus.

Images from television news helicopters showed the charter bus completely overturned, with portions of it crushed and resting next to a dark-colored sedan.

Police say there were 38 people on the bus. Madison County Schools spokesman John Southerland said several Sparkman High School students were hurt, some with broken bones.

11Alive spoke with one couple who said their niece was involved in the wreck and they hurried to the hospital to be by her side.

The church asked people for prayers on its Facebook page.

The church spokesperson told WGCL-TV that 42 people were on the bus.

"Please pray for our Sparkman community members and students on the Mt. Zion bus that crashed this afternoon in Atlanta", Sparkman High School posted on its Facebook page.

"We know they're all right, we know we've been blessed", he told reporters outside the church.

"The students and the patients were shaken by the incident", Daniel Jackson with Atlanta Medical Center South said. "Couldn't get much information, but him and his mama were fine", Vandiver said.

Smith said the National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation moving forward.

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