Florida bus crash kills eight and leaves dozens injured

Florida bus crash kills eight and leaves dozens injured

A bus carrying farm workers in northern Florida collided with a pickup truck on Tuesday and overturned, killing at least eight people and critically injuring eight others.

The labourers were headed to pick melons at Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, a small farming community about an hour's drive south of Gainesville, when the bus overturned at about 8.30am local time (12.30pm GMT).

The bus crashed through a fence and overturned after side-swiping a pickup truck and careening off the roadway, Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Steve Gaskins said in a statement.

The major road on which the collision happened, State Road 40 West, has been temporarily closed.

The crash involved a bus and a 2001 Ford Ranger vehicle, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said in a statement.

Cannon Farms, which operates a commercial farm, said on Facebook that it will be closed on Tuesday "out of respect to the losses and injuries endured early this morning in the accident."

Cannon said the accident "took place to the Olvera Trucking Harvesting Corp,” but it was unclear whether Olvera owns the bus or hired the workers.

“Please pray with us for the families and the loved ones involved in this tragic accident," Cannon said. "We appreciate your understanding at this difficult time."

A total of 53 people were on the bus at the time of the accident.

Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena said in a statement on social media that some of the victims were Mexican nationals.

The other 37 passengers were transported to hospitals for minor injuries, said James Lucas, the public information officer for Marion County Fire Rescue.