20 years since Alton school bus tragedy

ALTON, Texas (AP) - A park in the Lower Rio Grande Valley serves as a reminder of when a school bus went into a water-filled pit in a wreck that left 21 children dead.

Monday was the 20th anniversary of the devastating school bus accident in Alton. It was Sept. 21, 1989, when a school bus carrying 81 children and a soft drink truck collided.

The bus plummeted into a caliche (kuh-LEE'-chee) pit. Emergency personnel used rescue boats to help reach the dozens of survivors.

Alton received a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to help construct a memorial park. The complex was built in 2004.

Alton is a town of about 8,700, located 70 miles northwest of Brownsville.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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