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At least 8 dead after NC church bus wreck in Tenn.

Posted at 4:34 PM, Oct 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-03 00:01:38-04

(CNN) — A preliminary number of eight fatalities was reported in a three-vehicle accident on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County, Tennessee, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said. Fourteen injuries were reported.

A bus traveling east had a front-tire blowout. It crossed the grass median, clipped a vehicle and struck a tractor-trailer, officials said.

There were 18 people on the bus, which is from Statesville, North Carolina, officials said. Six people on the bus died, along with one person in an SUV and one in the tractor-trailer, officials said.A wreck Wednesday involving a tractor-trailer, a tour bus and a passenger vehicle resulted in multiple fatalities and injuries, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

The 2 p.m. wreck occurred about 40 miles east of Knoxville on Interstate 40 westbound near mile marker 423, said Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls.

The bus was traveling east on I-40 and after a tire blew, crossed the median, striking the westbound tractor-trailer and the passenger car, Qualls said.

The tractor-trailer caught fire, and the bus overturned, she said. A photo from CNN affiliate WVLT showed smoke rising from the scene and debris along the highway.

I-40 was closed, and traffic was being rerouted, according to state transportation officials.