BEDFORD (CBS) — Nearly two dozen children from a Lowell middle school were injured Wednesday morning after the school bus they were riding on a field trip was involved in a crash.

The crash happened around 9:10 a.m. on Route 3 Southbound near Exit 26, and involved the bus and one other vehicle.

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The scene on Route 3 in Bedford after a van crashed into a school bus with children on board. (Tom Matteo/WBZ-TV)

State Police said a car swerved in front of the bus, causing it to break sharply–and said the van was unable to stop in time. Investigators were trying to determine how fast the van, which was towing a trailer, was going at the point of impact.

The bus was one of eight that was carrying 46 sixth graders and staff from Bartlett Middle School Lowell to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for a field trip.

Lowell Public Schools told WBZ-TV that 23 students were taken to area hospitals with mostly minor injuries, and that their families were contacted by school and hospital staff.

The bus driver, a 44-year-old Methuen man, also suffered minor injuries. The van driver, a 24-year-old Lynn man, was not hurt.

Those who were injured were taken to several area hospitals, including Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Saints Medical Center in Lowell, and Emerson Hospital in Concord.

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State Police said there were not charges filed in the crash at this time.

Students and staff were mostly shaken up by the impact, and most were transported just as a precaution.

They said the rest of the students on the bus were taken back to the school.

Chris Velez came upon the accident not realizing at first his 10 year old niece was on board.

“I sent a picture of the accident to my wife who confirmed it,” said Velez. “I was praying for them.”

Two left lanes of Route 3 were closed after the crash, but were reopened around 11:15 a.m.

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