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The school bus hit this water-filled ditch on Township Road 350 near Innisfail. (RCMP)

Several children were hurt when a school bus hit a ditch created by a washed-out rural road in central Alberta.

The driver was on a gravel road near Innisfail Wednesday morning at 8:25 when she hit the water-filled ditch, said Cst. Myles Hayden.

"She was driving due east. The sun [was] directly in her eyes. It's hard to see. She attributed what she saw in regards to the ditch as being shadows," he said.

"She didn't realize it was a ditch until it was too late and she went right across."

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The bus was damaged in the incident. (RCMP )

Four of the 12 children on board were taken by paramedics to the Innisfail hospital with minor injuries. The hurt children range in age from 7 to 10 years old.

Police said the school bus driver was shaken, but not hurt, and no charges are anticipated.

The road is being fixed.