It was an emotional scene at Erlanger as ambulances rushed to transport the victims. The hospital is in a Code Triage meaning prepare for multiple tragedies and all hands on deck.
One by one ambulances rushed to Erlanger Medical Center. Curtains draped the entrance to the ER while police stood by. Families gathered outside, holding on to one another praying for a miracle. “These are families that do not know the status of their children, families that are worried about their children,” said Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher.
Medical staff waited at the door, ready to treat the injured children. First responders stayed to comfort broken hearted families. “Every police officer, every firefighter, every paramedics worst nightmare. It is the reason why we do this; this is the reason why we train.”
One of the six killed, died at the hospital. A heartbreaking reality for the Chattanooga community. “When we send them off to school we don't know if we will see them again. Love them, hug them, not just sending them off to school but anywhere,” said one neighbor close to the crash scene.
Now the medical team turns to taking care of the children who remain in the hospital, and their families. “Taking care of those injured are our number one priority. Taking care of families who are looking for, caring for, grieving for children is our second.”
A tragedy too difficult to believe, as a community tries to make sense of six lives lost, too soon. “Every public safety official’s absolute nightmare, but nothing compared to the nightmare families, and friends and our community is going through,” said chief.
Channel 3 is still waiting to learn the conditions of the others injured.