- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

EWING, Mo. (AP) - Nearly two dozen students were injured in northeast Missouri on Tuesday when a school bus overturned in a ditch on a rural road near the Illinois border, the state Highway Patrol reported.

The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday north of Ewing in Lewis County. The injured students attended Highland Elementary and Highland High schools in the Lewis County C-1 District.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Anderson said the bus rolled over into a ditch on a two-lane road with no shoulders. Eighteen students suffered minor injuries and five were more seriously hurt, he said.

“We’re praying that everybody is going to be OK, but we do have some serious injuries,” Anderson said.

Sgt. Brent Bernhardt of the highway patrol said the driver, whose name had not yet been released, suffered minor injuries. No other vehicles were involved.

Ewing is located about 125 miles northwest of St. Louis, about 20 miles west of the Mississippi River.

Several of the injured students were initially taken to Hannibal Regional Hospital, but a Blessing Hospital spokesman said that the Quincy, Ill., hospital was treating 24 patients, including some who were driven there by car. The hospital would not release the condition of the patients.

Jackie Kennedy, the school district’s transportation director, declined comment on Tuesday night. The school district is expected to release a statement on Wednesday morning.

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