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14 killed in New York tour bus accident

Officials say the tour bus, reportedly from an area casino, flipped on its side on a highway and hit a pole, shearing off most of the top of the vehicle. At least 6 of the injured passengers are listed in critical condition.

March 12, 2011|By Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from New York — Fourteen people died early Saturday morning in the Bronx when a tour bus flipped on its side on a highway and slid into a pole, the New York City Fire Department said. The metal pole for an overhanging sign ripped through the windshield and sheared off most of the top of the bus, according to media reports.

About 20 passengers were taken to hospitals; at least six were listed in critical condition, the Fire Department said.

Firefighters said they had to cut out parts of the bus to rescue several passengers trapped in the mangled vehicle, which was carrying about 33 passengers.

The bus left the Mohegan Sun Casino, a southern Connecticut gambling complex, at about 3:45 a.m. and was headed to Chinatown in Manhattan, according to media reports.

The large casino is about two hours from the city and has become a popular destination for brief excursions for many New Yorkers, including those from the immigrant communities of Chinatown.

The Fire Department responded to an alert about the crash at 5:37 a.m. and rushed to the scene on Interstate 95 where it intersects the Hutchinson River Parkway.

The roads in the area were shut down while emergency workers responded to the accident.

The New York Daily News reported that police are searching for a tractor-trailer truck that may have made contact with the bus moments before the crash.

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geraldine.baum@latimes.com

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