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Bus Overturns Carrying University Of Washington Marching Band

Dozens of members of the University of Washington marching band, shown here in 2017, were transported to hospitals after a bus overturned on Thursday.
Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire
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Dozens of members of the University of Washington marching band, shown here in 2017, were transported to hospitals after a bus overturned on Thursday.

Dozens of people have been hospitalized after a charter bus transporting members of the University of Washington marching band rolled on a Washington interstate Thursday, according to Washington State Patrol.

Trooper John Bryantsaid "40-45 plus" people were transported to hospitals but that none of the injuries were serious. He said there were 56 people total on the bus.

"The injuries reported were cuts, complaints of general pain and back pain, but the injuries are not believed to be critical," UW spokesperson Victor Balta said in a statement. "The University is doing everything it can to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff, and to get them back on their journey to Pullman."

The Husky Marching Band was headed to Eastern Washington to perform at Friday's Apple Cup football game between Washington and Washington State.

According to Bryant, the bus rolled at about 5:30 p.m. local time and was one of six carrying UW band members.

It wasn't immediately clear why the bus rolled over, though Bryant warned incoming media members to drive carefully because the road was icy. He shared photos from the scene of the overturned bus, with the bumper partially ripped off and misshapen front window frames.

Bryant initially said 20 to 25 band members were transported to hospitals, but raised that number about two hours later.

The band members who were uninjured regrouped at an elementary school in the small town of George, Wash., where they received a warm welcome from the local community. One member of the band group said in a post on Twitter, "families left their thanksgiving dinners to bring us leftovers and hot food."

The people in George rallying to help the band even included fans of their rivals from Washington State University, according to a tweet from UW Cheer.

The band has not officially said whether they plan to perform at the Friday evening game. But if they do, the opposing WSU Marching Band is asking their own fans to give the band a warm welcome.

"If the wonderful @huskyband is able to come down tomorrow after tonight's accident, DO NOT boo those kids," WSU Marching Band said in a tweet. "Applaud their efforts and sacrifice to be here supporting their team and university."

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Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

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