A school bus carrying students on a band trip drove into a ditch and rolled onto its side in eastern Iowa on Saturday afternoon, injuring nearly everyone on board.

Northeast Community School District Superintendent Neil Gray says the accident happened in Clinton County near the town of Charlotte as the band members were being carried from an event Tipton back to Goose Lake.

“It was a single-vehicle accident,” Gray says. “There were a total of 21 people on the bus, 19 students and two adults. Of those 21 people, 15 were transported to area hospitals in Maquoketa, DeWitt and Clinton and one was flown by helicopter to Iowa City.”

Gray says most of the injuries were relatively minor, bumps and bruises. “Of the students that were hospitalized, as of this morning, we still have three people in the hospital,” Gray says. “Two students are in Iowa City and the bus driver is in Davenport.” A full school assembly was planned this morning to fill in everyone, students and staff, on what happened.

“Also, I’ve communicated to teachers on what to look for and how different students express their feelings differently,” Gray says. “It was a very traumatic experience. It looks like everyone will be okay. Emotionally, the trauma of this event is going to be with us for quite a while.” The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

(Thanks to Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)