Lincoln Tunnel bus crash leaves 31 hurt, stymies traffic for hours

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N.J. Burkett has the latest on the bus collision in the Lincoln Tunnel Wednesday morning that left 31 people injured. (WABC)

Traffic is moving again at the Lincoln Tunnel after a morning bus crash inside the center tube left 31 people hurt and brought traffic to a standstill for hours.

The accident, involving an inbound New Jersey Transit bus and a private bus carrying students from Toronto, happened around 9:35 a.m. close to the Manhattan side of the tunnel. The NJ Transit bus, which was on Route 166 going from Cresskill to Port Authority Bus Terminal, apparently rear-ended the other bus.

None of the injuries was considered life threatening, but four people were more seriously hurt with neck and back injuries. All the others were stable with bumps and bruises. Most of the injured were on the commuter bus, including the driver.

At least two people were taken out of the tunnel on stretchers, and two others walked out with the help of emergency personnel. People with bloody noses were being treated at a triage station set up outside the tunnel, and streams of passengers could be seen walking out of the tunnel.

Additionally, there were two pregnant woman on another NJ Transit bus that was not involved in the accident but was stuck in the traffic backup. One was taken to Mt. Sinai- Roosevelt because she began having contractions. The other refused medical aid.

Jaehoon Chung, a carpenter who was going to work on the NJ Transit bus, said the impact of the crash felt like a minor collision.

He said the passengers were stuck on the bus for 10 to 20 minutes because the door was damaged.

"We couldn't get out. The door was bent," he said. "Everyone was calm. We all waited until a cop came."

According Anna Caputo, spokeswoman for the Toronto District School Board, all passengers on the charter bus were uninjured.

They took the bus from Toronto to New York for a sightseeing graduation trip, arriving Monday. The charter bus, with 26 students ages 13 and 14 and two staff members aboard, was eventually pulled from the tunnel.
A view from inside the tunnel(not the actual bus involved, courtesy @slothead):


Port Authority crews tried to move the NJ Transit bus, but the air "dropped out of the bus," and they were unable to move it for some time.

The center tube of the tunnel was closed for nearly three hours, with traffic was backed up to Route 3. Buses were delayed 30 minutes in and out of the Port Authority Bus Termnal.
There was also heavier traffic at the Holland Tunnel.

RAW VIDEO OF N.J. TRANSIT BUS BEING REMOVED FROM TUNNEL:

No summonses have been issued or criminality expected in the crash. However, the Port Authority investigation is ongoing. The New Jersey Transit bus driver is a 36-year-old man from Toms River who will be taken out of service pending an internal investigation.

The Port Authority says 42 million vehicles a year travel through the tunnel. The tunnel is comprised of three tubes built beneath the Hudson River.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Related Topics:
bus accidentnew jersey newsnew york citylincoln tunnelNew York City
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