2 killed as school bus, train collide in North Dakota

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A school bus carrying children home from school was hit by a train in the North Dakota town of Larimore Monday afternoon, killing the driver of the bus and a 17-year-old passenger. The other 12 students on board were injured, some of them seriously, according to Valley News Live.

The driver of the bus, Max Danner, 62, was also a teacher at the Larimore High School, the Grand Forks Herald reports. The identity of the teenager who was killed has not yet been released.

According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the bus was traveling north on a gravel road near the intersection of Grand Forks County Road 4 at about 3:40 p.m., when it failed to yield to a stop sign and was struck by the westbound BNSF Railway train.

"The bus driver did not stop short of the stop sign," Lt. Troy Hischer of the North Dakota Highway Patrol told Valley News Live. "He entered the tracks is what he did. Entered the railway right-of-way and was struck by the train."

Danner and the 17-year-old student were ejected from the bus, along with several other children on board, said Hischer. The train was pulling empty flat-bed cars.

Hischer said the train hit the bus on the passenger side, near the doors.

Authorities were still investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident, the Associated Press reports. Hischer said the weather was clear at the time and the roads were not icy.

There are no crossing arms at the intersection, but there are railroad signs and a stop sign, according to the Herald.

The 12 injured students were taken to Altru Health System in Grand Forks, according to Valley News Live. Some of them were admitted for treatment there, while others with more serious injuries were transferred to other facilities, the Herald said.

Nobody on the train was injured, and railroad investigators are on the scene, a BNSF spokeswoman told the AP.

The bus was carrying students from kindergarten through 12th grade from the Larimore school district, according to the AP.

Larimore is about 25 miles west of Grand Forks, N.D. The school district has an enrollment of 204 students in K-12, and 42 teachers, according to its website.

School administrators declined comment Monday afternoon, the Herald reports, adding that school staff met Monday evening at the high school in a session that was closed to the media. All extra-curricular activities were canceled.

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