Three people were killed and 16 others were injured when a charter bus struck an MTA bus in Queens early Monday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
A Dahlia Travel and Tours bus, traveling east on Northern Boulevard in Flushing, hit the Q20 bus as it turned right onto the boulevard from Main Street at about 6:15 a.m., the NYPD said.
The accident sent the two buses spinning, and one crashed into a building on the corner, causing “substantial” damage and sparking a small fire that was quickly extinguished, officials said.
A pedestrian on the sidewalk was pinned by one of the buses and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the Dahlia bus and a passenger on the MTA bus died at the hospital, and at least 16 others were hurt, with several in critical condition, de Blasio said.
“It’s just shocking to see the scene over there,” de Blasio said at a news briefing. “It’s hard to compare it to anything I’ve ever seen, the sheer destruction from the impact of this collision.”
An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing, but the speed of the buses was a top concern, MTA chairman Joe Lhota said.
“As we’ve observed, these buses spun around. That requires an enormous amount of speed,” he said.
The NYPD said it was canvassing the area for video surveillance to determine the cause of the collision.
The MTA driver, who has 10 years on the job, was being spoken to by investigators at the hospital, where he was in stable condition, Lhota said. There were 15 people on the Q20 bus, he said.
Dahlia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Q13, Q16, Q20A/B, Q28, Q44-SBS, Q58 and QM3 buses were delayed or detoured in both directions as a result of the accident, the MTA said. Check the MTA website for the latest service changes.