Three people were killed and at least 16 others injured after an accident between an MTA bus and a private tour bus Monday morning in Queens, FDNY said.
The fire department responded to a call about the accident at Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Queens at 6:18 Monday morning, officials said.
The MTA bus and private bus from the company Dahlia Travel and Tours collided and also struck a building, which resulted in a small fire at a local business. Firefighters have extinguished that fire on Northern Boulevard.
One person died at the scene, officials said, and two others died en route to the hospital. The three fatalities include a pedestrian who was pinned by a bus, the driver of the Dahlia bus and a passenger on the MTA bus.
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Several others are in critical condition, officials said. Nine people have minor injuries.
Firefighters cut off gas to the building impacted by the crash and are assessing the building for any structural damage and any other potential victims. Officials could not immediately say if anyone was in the building at the time that the buses hit.
“As you have observed, these buses spun around. That requires an enormous amount of speed,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota said at a news conference. “The MTA driver is in the hospital in a non-critical condition and he is being spoken to right now by investigators."
PLEASE AVOID MAIN ST & NORTHERN BLVD DUE TO A VERY SERIOUS COLLISION INVOLVING 2 BUSES. **HEAVY TRAFFIC DELAYS** pic.twitter.com/zvtu9l20eF— NYPD 109th Precinct (@NYPD109Pct) September 18, 2017
Dahlia Travel and Tours is a travel service based out of Flushing. When called, the person who answered the phone had no information about the accident at this time.
Dahlia Travel and Tours has less than 10 reviews on Yelp, all of which are one star. The earliest review dates back to 2010 and the most recent from March 2017. Many of the reviews mention the buses weaving in and out of traffic.
“GET DAHLIA BUS COMPANY OFF THE ROADS NOW!!!” The review from March of this year reads. “This is a tragedy waiting to happen if it hasn't already.”
The city bus had been making a right turn when it was hit by the charter bus, according to Kevin Ortiz, spokesman for the MTA. The buses then spun around on impact.
Security camera footage from near the scene shows the horrifying moment of impact as the Dahlia bus slams into the MTA bus.
FDNY and NYPD stayed at scene of the accident Monday morning. The police department’s 109th Precinct called the crash a “serious collision” and warned that it caused heavy traffic and delays. Multiple Queens buses are being detoured from the scene.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was at the scene Monday morning as well, offering prayers to the victims' families. One of the victims who died was walking down the sidewalk when the accident occurred, he said.
"We've had a really tragic morning here in Flushing, Queens," he said. "Hard to compare to anything I've ever seen, the sheer destruction from the impact of this collision."