MTA bus plunges 50 feet, dangles from overpass after crash

  • >>Amanda Rosa, The New York Times
    Published: 2021-01-16 01:56:15 BdST

The images seemed like something out of a movie: an articulated public bus dangling over a highway overpass in the Bronx, passengers trapped inside.

But the frightening scene that unfolded Thursday night was all too real after the driver of the bus lost control while trying to make a left turn onto a ramp, according to officials.

It was unclear what caused the bus to veer off University Avenue shortly after 11 p.m., but photos and video captured the harrowing aftermath. The front portion of the bus fell about 50 feet to the Cross Bronx Expressway, splitting the bus in half. Broken cables jutted from the accordionlike middle of the vehicle.

Besides the driver, at least six passengers were aboard the bus, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said — far fewer than would have been had the accident occurred earlier in the day.

The passengers and the driver were all injured, a Fire Department spokesman said. Several of them were taken to hospitals, and one person was listed in critical condition.

A tandem M.T.A. bus hangs over an overpass barrier in the Bronx early Friday morning, Jan. 15, 2021. The crashed happened Thursday night, causing the front portion to fall about 50 feet. The driver and at least six passengers were injured. (Dakota Santiago/The New York Times)

A tandem M.T.A. bus hangs over an overpass barrier in the Bronx early Friday morning, Jan. 15, 2021. The crashed happened Thursday night, causing the front portion to fall about 50 feet. The driver and at least six passengers were injured. (Dakota Santiago/The New York Times)

The bus driver, who has worked for MTA for 12 years, was able to unbuckle himself and help passengers escape, according to ABC News.

The bus was eventually hoisted back up to the street, and the MTA, which oversees the bus system, was investigating the crash.

Officials believe the cables connecting the two sections prevented the front of the bus from smashing into the expressway more forcefully, which might have caused more serious injuries.

Patrick Warren, the MTA’s chief safety and security officer, told ABC News that the agency would examine footage from the bus’ cameras to try to determine the cause of the crash.

“The MTA’s goal is to have the safest transportation system in the nation, and when an incident like this occurs we take it very seriously,” Warren said in a statement. “We are conducting a full investigation and will implement lessons learned in order to prevent it from happening again. We are certain this was a terrifying incident for those customers on the bus.”

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