Minivan crashes into Canadian school, injuring several children

Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:26pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A minivan veered off a road and plowed into a classroom in western Canada on Thursday, seriously injuring several children, including one who was pinned underneath the vehicle, police said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene at the school in the town of St. Paul, Alberta, about 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Edmonton, after the white van sped through a fence, smashed into a window and landed in a classroom where a sixth-grade French class was taking place.

Three students were airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton with critical injuries following the morning incident, which startled children and teachers throughout Racette School. Two others were being treated at a local hospital, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

A 46-year-old man, a resident of St. Paul, was in custody as the police investigated the cause of the crash. The man, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries, police said.

"There was a big hole on the east side of the school and an emergency crew were grabbing things out of there and (there was) someone being taken out on a stretcher," parent Michelle de Moissac told CBC television.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; Editing by Peter Cooney)