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Four students were killed and at least 11 others were injured when a school bus was hit broadside by a van near Cottonwood MN. The collision caused the bus to collide with a pickup truck and then flip over on it side.

The first driver to come upon the scene called 911 and ran to the bus where the bus driver was calling for help to get the children out of the escape hatch in the top of the bus. The injured were transported to the local hospitals by motorists who stopped to help as well as by ambulance. Two of the victims were reported to be in critical condtion while others were treated for bumps, bruises and lacerations and released.

The bus was carrying 28 students ranging in age from kindergarten to high school for the small rural town of about 1000 people. The local schools were closed today to mourn the loss of their students.

There has been much debate over the years on requiring school buses to have seat belts. One can only wonder if these young children would be alive today if they had been buckled in.

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