Six people, including three students, died in a fire on I-70 in Licking County Tuesday morning.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the crash happened just before 9 a.m. and involved a rental bus, two commercial vehicles and two passenger vehicles.
At least three vehicles caught fire as a result of the accident.
A preliminary investigation determined the vehicles were traveling westbound on I-70 when the chain reaction crash occurred.
A Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools charter bus was carrying 54 students and teachers.
Three of the bus passengers, John W. Mosley, 18, Jeffrey D. Worrell, 18, and Katelyn N. Owens, 15, died at the scene.
Three people inside one of the passenger vehicles, Dave Kennett, 56, Christy Gainer, 39, and Shannon Wickfield, 45, died at the scene.
A total of 15 students and the bus driver were admitted to area hospitals.
The driver of the commercial vehicle involved in the accident and a passenger in the other vehicle have also been admitted to the hospital.
The crash remains under investigation and anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Ohio State Highway Patrol at (614) 466-2660.
Update @ 5:24 pm:
At least six people are dead after a fiery bus crash on I-70 this morning, Licking County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Grady confirmed to our news partners at WBNS in Columbus.
At least three people are dead and a dozen injured after a charter bus carrying students crashed in Licking County.
The crash happened shortly before 9 a.m. on Interstate 70 near State Route 310 in Licking County, east of Columbus.
>> Photos: At least six people were killed and a dozen injured in a fiery I-70 crash in Ohio
State troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed five vehicles Tuesday afternoon, including a charter bus and a semi-trailer.
Troopers later confirmed that 18 people, including 15 students, on board the bus were taken to seven area hospitals after the crash.
Troopers confirmed the crash was fatal but did not confirm the death toll. An emergency official confirmed to our news partners WBNS in Columbus Three people died in the accident.
NewsCenter 7 reported late Tuesday morning that the bus was carrying students and choirs from Tuscarawas Valley local schools on their way to the Ohio School Boards Association convention in Columbus.
Licking County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Grady confirmed to WBNS that 57 people were on the bus.
“Right now, our focus is on reaching out to our Dusky Valley families who had loved ones on the bus and supporting our entire school community. Our Trojan family is strong, and we will need that strength and love to get through these challenging days,” said Superintendent Dr. Derek Waranski. Wrote in part.
>> Related: ‘destroyed;’ Politicians react to bus crash on I-70 in Ohio that kills 6, injures 18
The school later announced that a prayer vigil would be held on their grounds on Tuesday night.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine joined the troopers on Tuesday in two separate press conferences about the crash. Devine said he spoke with parents and students from the district at the reunification site. Devine called the community in Northeast Ohio a small, tight-knit place.
“This is the worst nightmare for the families. This is the worst nightmare for the teachers. Our hearts go out to them.” DeWine told NewsCenter 7’s Mike Campbell, who was live on the scene all day and reporting live from the scene on NewsCenter 7 at 5:00 p.m.
The crash closed both directions of I-70 in the area. The eastbound lanes reopened shortly before 4:30 p.m., but the westbound lanes remain closed while crews continue to investigate.
On Tuesday afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board announced it would send a team to conduct a safety investigation into the crash. They are expected to arrive on Tuesday evening.