bornomala desk: Three people were killed and 16 were injured when a city bus was hit by charter bus in Flushing, Queens early Monday morning. One of the dead was a pedestrian, discovered trapped underneath one of the buses; another was a passenger on the city bus, and the third was the driver of the charter bus, the authorities said at a news conference at the crash site
“We’ve had a really tragic morning here in Flushing, Queens,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It’s just shocking to see the scene over there. Hard to compare it to anything I’ve ever seen — the sheer destruction from the impact of the collision.”
The city bus, a Q20, and the other vehicle, a charter bus run by Dahlia Travel and Tours, crashed around 6:15 a.m. at Main Street and Northern Boulevard. Lee Jones, a Police Department spokesman. In a video posted to social media, the charter bus appeared to barrel across the intersection and slam into the city bus that was turning.
The other side of the charter bus careened into a Kennedy Fried Chicken restaurant, igniting a small fire that was put out by firefighters shortly after.
Those who were critically injured were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Queens; noncritical patients were being treated at Elmhurst Hospital Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, according to Michael Fitton, the assistant chief of emergency medical services.
On Monday afternoon, Yong Jun Kim, a passenger on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus, limped out of the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian with a plastic bag on one foot. Somewhere in the chaos of the bus accident and the aftermath, Mr. Kim, 57, who delivers dry cleaning, had lost a sneaker.
The two buses collided around 6:15 a.m. at Main Street and Northern Boulevard, a busy intersection in Flushing, Queens. Credit Yeong-Ung Yang for The New York Times
Mr. Kim felt, but did not see, the vehicle that rammed his bus. He said he was thrown from his seat a few rows from the front of the bus and knocked unconscious. When he came to, he said, he saw passengers splayed on the bus floor. It took more than an hour to remove injured passengers from the city bus, the Fire Department said in a statement.
He lifted his sweatshirt and pointed to three ribs covered with medical tape. “Broke, broke, broke,” he said.
Mr. Kim said he was leaving the hospital against doctors’ advice because he needed to catch another bus to visit an uncle. He planned to return later, he said, as he limped away.
A person answering the phone for Dahlia in Flushing confirmed that one of the company’s buses had been involved in the crash but declined to give his name or to answer any questions. Last year, a bus owned by the company and operated by a company called VMC East Coast, overturned during snowy weather en route to a Connecticut casino, injuring 30 people.
The mangled buses sat at the crash site for several hours until they were towed away Monday afternoon. Michelle Smith, 52, a city bus driver, said she was friends with the city bus driver, whom she did not name. She said he had fractured his collar bone. ”It hurts,” she said, speaking at the scene after her shift. “It could have been any one of us.”