1 child dead, 40 people hurt in Arkansas charter bus crash

BENTON, Ark. (AP) — A charter bus carrying a youth football team from Tennessee crashed early Monday in central Arkansas, killing one child and injuring at least 40 other people, authorities said.

Arkansas State Police said the bus overturned along Interstate 30 near Benton, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Little Rock, while carrying the team from Texas to Memphis, Tennessee. Police said most of the injured were children who were taken to hospitals in Little Rock and Benton.

The football team was from the Orange Mound Youth Association in Tennessee and had played in a tournament in Dallas over the weekend, according to Memphis TV station WMC. The TV station reports the children are elementary-school age.

Live video from the scene shows the heavily damaged bus on its side in an embankment near an exit that has a sharp curve leaving the interstate. Police said the bus driver was being questioned by troopers.

Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock said it received more than 20 patients following the morning crash, though no information about the severity of the injuries was immediately available. The hospital said it has set up a family center so parents can reunite with their children.

Orange Mound is a historically black neighborhood in southeast Memphis, roughly 130 miles (209 kilometers) east of Little Rock. The community comes together around its youth football teams, where kids train to be part of the highly competitive Melrose High School squad.

The community was created after the Civil War by and for African-Americans, and black-owned businesses flourished there until desegregation enabled residents to live elsewhere. Chronic disinvestment brought widespread crime and poverty.

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