Two people were still in hospital Tuesday morning after a school bus rolled onto its side in southern Alberta on Monday.
It happened shortly after 3 p.m. south of Cayley, Alta, on 690 Avenue, just east of Highway 2.
RCMP initially said eight students were on the bus when the crash happened. However, Foothills School Division clarified on Tuesday that seven students and one bus driver were on the school bus at the time.
Calgary EMS said a teenage girl was taken to High River General Hospital by ground ambulance with “numerous serious, but non-life-threatening injuries,” before being airlifted to hospital in Calgary.
EMS said two other people — a teenage boy and the bus driver — were taken to hospital in High River and Calgary, respectively.
On Tuesday, Foothills School Division said one student and the bus driver remained in hospital, both in stable condition.
“Our thoughts are with the families affected by this accident and the individuals being treated for their injuries,” acting superintendent of schools Pamela Rannelli said in a statement.
“We have spent the day working to support our school community during this difficult time. We recognize that many of our students, families and staff have been concerned by this news and we are committed to providing supports for as long as they may be needed. We join with the community in extending an outpouring of caring, compassion and support for the families involved.”
Ottawa announced a task force earlier this month to look into retrofitting school buses with seatbelts.
Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Tuesday the province is looking into making seatbelts mandatory on school buses.
“The existing wisdom with respect to that and the study that Transport Canada has based its current policy on needs to be reviewed,” Mason said Tuesday.
“I’ve asked the department to move more quickly in re-examining that in light of this incident and others.”
Canada doesn’t require seatbelts on school buses, but did introduce new guidelines last June to regulate their use by bus operators who choose to install them.
Those new technical requirements say restraints must not compromise existing safety features of the compartmentalized seats specifically designed to protect school children in the event of a crash.
A 2010 Transport Canada report concluded current compartmentalization safety features on buses are not enough to stop injuries, particularly in side impacts and rollovers.
Students and parents with questions are encouraged to contact the school principal.
The cause of the bus crash remains under investigation.
With files from The Canadian Press.
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