Video: MTA bus goes airborne after hitting loose manhole cover in Queens

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Video: MTA bus goes airborne, hits car when manhole cover blows off
Video shows an MTA bus going airborne after driving over a loose manhole in Queens late last month.

CORONA, Queens (WABC) -- Video shows an MTA bus going airborne after driving over a loose manhole cover in Queens late last month.

Contractors spent Tuesday morning repairing the damage and replacing the 250-pound manhole cover, which blew off as the Q66 bus headed east on Northern Boulevard in Corona.

The bus was literally lifted off its wheels before the driver lost control and slammed into a parked car.

At least nine people were hurt when the manhole struck the bus and sent it careening into parked cars in Corona

It happened on October 30, and Eyewitness News obtained video of the incident and the immediate aftermath.

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A total of nine people were injured onboard the bus, some of whom were taken from the scene on stretchers.

Raynelda Calderone works nearby and came running. She filmed the damage inside the bus where the manhole cover punched a hole in the floor.

"I looked inside and saw a woman inside who was bleeding, and I call 911 and stay there until they came to help her," she said

The stretch of Northern Boulevard had recently been re-paved, and one source familiar with the project told Eyewitness News that the manhole was likely damaged when the original road surface was ground up and removed by the DOT -- and never properly replaced.

It would instead lay loose, an accident waiting to happen.

The cover was properly replaced Tuesday by contractors hired by Verizon, whose workers use the manhole.

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Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber has praised DOT at times, but not over this.

"DOT was repaving the street, and it looks like there was something imperfect about how the manhole was reapplied," he said. "I mean, we work closely with DOT. They're responsible for the streets. You know, we're like any driver who's just driving along and hits a pothole."


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