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The Globe and Mail

Condition of kids hurt in Alberta school bus crash improving, mayor says

Officials investigate at the scene of a school bus crash near Crossfield, north of Calgary, Alta., on Oct. 25, 2013. Crossfield’s Mayor says the conditions of the children – three of whom were critically injured, and six of whom were seriously injured – are improving.

Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press

The mayor of an Alberta town where a school bus crash critically injured three children and seriously injured six others says the conditions of the victims appears to be improving.

Crossfield Mayor Nathan Anderson says he visited some of the children in hospital in Calgary on Saturday.

Anderson said two of the boys who had been in critical condition are doing well and are on the mend.

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He said the condition of a third boy who was also in critical remains very serious, but the boy is showing signs of improvement.

"They're sedating him pretty heavily to help his body heal. I don't understand all the medical reasons for what they do. He would be conscious. He's not in a coma or anything like that," Anderson said Saturday.

"He's day-to-day, showing signs of improvement. We're optimistic over the next couple of days that things are going to move in a positive direction."

The bus collided with a truck north of Calgary on Friday, crushing the front end of the bus.

RCMP are still investigating the crash.

The female bus driver was taken to another hospital in serious condition – her current condition was not immediately available.

The driver of the truck had minor injuries.

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Anderson said families of the kids had been visiting Alberta Children's Hospital throughout the day on Saturday.

He said some of the injured children spoke to him about the crash.

"It was scary, is what they told me," Anderson said. "My focus was just to dwell on the positives and how they'e going to get better."

The children on the bus ranged in age from 5 to 13.

A spokeswoman for Alberta Health Services said Saturday that the agency couldn't provide updates on the conditions of any of the people injured in the crash.

Mounties said in a news release on Saturday that the investigation was complex and that "a report is not expected in the immediate future."

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Anderson has said some of the children attend Crossfield Elementary School, one of two schools in the community of 3,000. There were also a few students on board from W.G. Murdoch School, which has grades 6 to 12.

A Rocky View Schools official said there were four other students on the bus who were not injured.

Anderson said many people were talking about the crash at a Halloween dance in the town Friday night, and he expected it would also be on people's minds at a family pumpkin event on Saturday afternoon.

"It's a small town. There's nobody it doesn't touch," Anderson said.

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