/Students in critical condition after school bus crash near Smoky Lake, Alta. | CBC News

Students in critical condition after school bus crash near Smoky Lake, Alta. | CBC News

Three students were flown to an Edmonton hospital by air ambulance in critical condition on Monday after a school bus and a truck-mounted crane collided near Smoky Lake, Alta.

Police said 14 students were on the bus when it struck the other vehicle around 8:30 a.m. MT.

The bus was northbound on Range Road 180 and the crane was westbound on Highway 28, about five kilometres west of the town. 

The remaining students and the bus driver were taken to hospital in Smoky Lake in a separate bus for further assessment, some with injuries and others for observation.

The bus was delivering students to H.A. Kostash School, a kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Smoky Lake, according to Ross Hunter, a spokesperson for Aspen View Public Schools.

The scene where a school bus and a truck collided near Smoky Lake on Monday morning. (Alex Tardieu/CBC News)

“All the students and the drivers were removed from the scene in fairly short order following the collision,” Hunter told CBC News. 

He said district officials were working to confirm how many students were on the bus. Parents of the children are being notified, he said.

STARS air ambulance said it made three flights from Edmonton to the area and back. 

One went directly to the scene and brought a teenage girl to the Stollery Children’s Hospital, it said in a statement. 

Two others went separately to the Smoky Lake Hospital, including one bringing a physician to help with triage. Those flights also transported two male students back to the Stollery, one an adolescent and one a child, it added. 

There was no word on the condition of the other driver. An investigation is underway, the RCMP said. 

Smoky Lake is a community of some 960 people, about 115 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. 

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