A tragic Alabama interstate crash on Saturday involving 18 vehicles, including two tractor-rigs and a bus from a home for neglected and abused girls, left 10 people dead, out of which nine were children.

The Alabama interstate crash occurred at around 2.30 pm on Interstate 65 in Butler County, Alabama. Butler County’s Sheriff, Danny Bond, described the unfortunate incident as a “domino effect” crash. According to Bond, the event unfolded when two 18 wheelers slammed a bus from the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch between them.

He further added that an SUV, occupied by a father and daughter, also crashed near the site. Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock stated that the vehicle which initiated the “domino effect” crash allegedly swerved on the payment.

The pair were later identified as Cody Fox, 29, and his 9-month-old daughter, Ariana Fox, who lost their lives in the untimely accident. Cody Fox succumbed to his injuries at the scene, while Ariana Fox was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The crash happened around the time Tropical Storm Claudette spread its wings around the Southeast.  Bond affirmed that there had been no heavy rains at the time of the crash and there was no clarity regarding the cause of the accident.

There were eight other deaths that occurred due to the Alabama interstate crash, which included children between the age of 4-17.  The children had been journeying in a Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch bus, along with driver Candice Gulley, said authorities. Two of Bond’s children lost their lives in the catastrophic crash.

Gulley himself was rescued by a passerby who exited his car and pulled the driver out of the coach. The unknown passerby also made several efforts to help the children inside, but the condition of the bus did not allow him to get to them in time, said authorities. 

Other people who made it out alive from the Alabama interstate crash appear to be in stable condition and don’t have any life-threatening injuries. Garlock said one woman had been taken to the hospital with broken bones.

Ranch Operator, Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches expressed deep sorrow and regret over the Alabama interstate crash. The deaths are a “great loss” and have left the community’s hearts feeling heavy, they said.

Michael Smith, chief executive officer of Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches said “It is such a horrible tragedy and loss.” The Alabama Gov, Kay Ivey also commented on the crash, saying it was an extremely “tragic day” for the whole of Alabama. She took to Twitter and asked the public to keep the “families, communities, and first responders lifted in prayer.”

At present, the National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team of 10 investigators to deduce the reasons for the accident. Their team was expected to arrive at the Alabama interstate crash site on Sunday night.