Emergency vehicles are parked at the scene where a bus carrying a youth soccer team from Tennessee crashed early Monday near Arkansas. Picture: Josh Snyder/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Emergency vehicles are parked at the scene where a bus carrying a youth soccer team from Tennessee crashed early Monday near Arkansas. Picture: Josh Snyder/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Child killed in soccer team bus crash

A charter bus carrying a junior soccer team from Tennessee crashed early Monday in central Arkansas, killing one child and injuring at least 45 other people, authorities said.

Arkansas State Police said the bus overturned along Interstate 30 near Benton, about 40km southwest of Little Rock, while travelling from Texas to Memphis, Tennessee.

Police said most of the injured were children between the ages of 8 and 12 who were taken to hospitals in Little Rock and Benton.

No information was immediately released about the severity of the injuries. Live video from the scene shows the heavily damaged bus on its side in an embankment near an exit that has a sharp curve leaving the interstate.

Police said the bus driver was being questioned by state troopers.

 

The team was from the Orange Mound Youth Association in Tennessee and had played in a tournament in Dallas over the weekend, according to Memphis TV station WMC.

Phone calls and emails from The Associated Press to sports teams and coached believed affiliated with the organisation weren't immediately returned Monday morning.

The bus was returning to Memphis, Tennessee from a championship game in Dallas, Texas when it crashed west of Benton, Arkansas, the state police said. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
The bus was returning to Memphis, Tennessee from a championship game in Dallas, Texas when it crashed west of Benton, Arkansas, the state police said. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock said it received 24 patients following the morning crash. The hospital said all the patients were in stable condition, though no additional information about the injuries has been released. The hospital said it has set up a family centre so parents can reunite with their children.

"On behalf of all Memphians, our hearts and prayers go out to the Orange Mound children and their families involved in this morning's tragic bus accident in Arkansas," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement.