Two dead, five injured in school bus crash in New York
It appears to have been caused by a defective front tire, officials said, adding that an investigation is underway.
A charter bus carrying students from Long Island to a band camp veered off the road and overturned in a ditch near the town of Wawayanda.
Officials said there were 44 people in the bus. They have been taken to six regional hospitals for treatment.
The crash happened around 13:10 local time (18:10GMT) on Interstate 84, about two hours north of New York City. Police have closed the highway to carry out work at the scene of the accident.
One of six buses hired to take 300 students from Farmingdale High School’s marching band to a music camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania.
Photos show the bus with broken windows on its side and ladders being raised to rescue people trapped inside.
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by this horrific situation,” New York Governor Cathy Hochul said in a statement.
“At my direction, New York State Police and Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services personnel are available to assist local emergency response teams,” the governor said.
Most of the students on the bus were about 14 or 15 years old, CBS reported.
“I feel bad for them. I hope they’re OK. I thought the tire just came off. I didn’t know they crashed. told the network.
“I usually take the bus,” said another student. “I don’t think I want to take the bus anymore.”
Some students said they saw pictures of their injured friends on social media.
“My friend came up to me and showed me a photo, her face was covered in blood. I started crying,” said student Venelle Zen-Baptiste. ABC News.
“We saw someone posting on Snapchat that the bus overturned and at first we thought it was a joke,” said student Sean Jacobs. “We didn’t know it was that serious. It’s horrible.”
New York State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
A family reunification center has been set up at Orange County Community College.
The camp was to be held from Thursday to Sunday.
The uninjured students are expected to return home later Thursday.