911 Calls From Deadly Bus Crash Reveal Chaos and Panic

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Frightened and confused students frantically called 911 in the moments after their charter bus collided head on with a FedEx truck and burst into flames in Orland last week, according to audio recordings released by the California Highway Patrol on Thursday.


A FedEx big rig crossed the center median and collided with a tour bus on the 5 Freeway in Orland, Calif., on April 10, 2014. (Credit: Jeremy Lockett/J. Lockett Photography)

“We’re off the bus. The bus is on fire,” one student who appeared to be crying told a 911 operator.

“We were in a bus, another student said. “We crashed into a truck or something. I don’t know where we are.”

The FedEx truck crossed a grassy median on the 5 Freeway slamming head-on into the bus around 5:40 p.m. on April 10 about 100 miles north of Sacramento, according to investigators.

Both vehicles exploded in flames upon impact.

“We have a massive fire,” one motorist said. “We have all kinds of students out on the highway here from a tour bus.”

Another caller appeared stunned by what had just happened.

“The bus hit a FedEx truck. The FedEx truck came into us… head on,” the caller said.

As the operators talked to the callers, the voices of other frightened and crying students could be heard in the background.

Operators tried to calm the students, assuring them that medical assistance was on the way and urging them to get away from the area.

“Get off the bus,” one operator said. “Go as far away as you can safely get.”

Ten people were killed in the crash, including the FedEx driver, the tour bus driver, three chaperones and five students.

Click here for complete coverage of the Orland bus crash.

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