Multiple people were killed in New Jersey on Thursday after a school bus and dump truck collided on an interstate, leaving a mangled wreck in the middle of the freeway, attorneys said.
The crash happened around 10 a.m. on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, located about 50 miles west of New York City. The front end of the bus appeared to be crushed or ripped off, and it was sheared off from its undercarriage.
Authorities are not corroborating the number of people killed or identifying the individuals until their families are notified.
New Jersey State Police tweeted the law enforcement bureau was investigating a “serious” motor vehicle accident involving local schools bus and dump truck.
“All lanes shut down. No further information available at this time, ” police said.
A red dump truck with a mangled front end was parked along the road nearby.
Multiple ambulances were responding to the scene, according to FOX5. It is unclear how many students were aboard the bus or the number of vehicles involved in the collision.
The school bus had commemorates for the Paramus School District. A fifth grade class trip from different districts was scheduled for Waterloo Village, an historical site about 5 miles away from the crash scene, according to the school’s district’s website. Holly Tedesco, Paramus Council President, told at a brief press conference that 5th graders on the two other buses heading to Waterloo Village have since returned to their respective schools.
Photos posted to social media present the bus on its side in the median of the roadway.
Hackettstown Medical Center told News 12 New Jersey they are receiving 10 patients from the accident. Morristown Medical Center spokeswoman Elaine Andrecovich told the AP the hospital has received some people from the accident, but she did not have a number available and could not say how many were children.
Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum told the Daily Record he rushed to the scene and was observing the rescue efforts from an overpass overlooking the highway.
“There’s an incredible emergency response from throughout Morris County and by State Police, ” he told the newspaper. “It’s a horrific scene.”
Seventh-grader Alejandro Garcia told The Record that students were told to return to homeroom on Thursday morning. As his classmates started searching online to see what had happened, they realized there had been an accident.
“People who I’m close friends with, who have brothers and sisters on that bus, started crying, and everybody only started sympathizing, ” Garcia told. “It was just a day of need for everyone.”
At least two canine divisions were searching the timbers along the roadside Thursday afternoon, but it wasn’t clear why.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has been briefed on the accident, according to Communications Director Mahen Gunaratna.
” @GovMurphy has been briefed on the school bus crash on Route 80 westbound near exit 25 in Mount Olive Township. @NJSP are on the scene at this time, ” he tweeted. “All lanes have been shut down.”
About 10 victims were taken to St. Clare’s Dover Hospital and St. Clare’s Denville Hospital, according to Communications Director Patty Montgomery. She said they’re being evaluated and treated, but she does not have ages or conditions.
Waterloo Village is a historic site illustrating a Lenape Indian community and once-thriving port along the Morris Canal in northwestern New Jersey. It features several historic homes, a blacksmith store, general store and more. It’s a popular spot for school trips.
Fox News’ Shira Bush and The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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