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31 Hurt After 2 Buses Collide In Lincoln Tunnel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A private bus carrying a group of Canadian students visiting New York City was rear-ended by a NJ TRANSIT bus inside the Lincoln Tunnel on Wednesday morning, injuring 31 people.

It happened around 9:45 a.m. inside the center tube of the tunnel.

There were 60 people aboard NJ TRANSIT bus 166T when it hit the private bus carrying the students from Bedford Park Public School in Toronto.

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The NJ TRANSIT bus was heading from Cresskill, New Jersey, to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Video from the scene showed the bus with a cracked windshield.

166 NJ TRANSIT bus in Lincoln Tunnel crash
166 NJ TRANSIT bus in Lincoln Tunnel crash (CBS2)

"Everyone's calm, and we all waited until the cops came, and they took apart the door, and they let us out one by one," one man who was on the bus told CBS2.

Those aboard the NJ TRANSIT bus told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell it was moving slowly when it struck the other bus.

The 30 civilians and one police officer who were hurt were taken to area hospitals with minor bumps and bruises, according to Stephen Lincke with the FDNY. Four needed to be taken away on stretchers. The rest were able to walk away from the scene.

"Obviously, they're hurt. I don't want to minimize, but fortunately there were no life-threatening injuries," police Capt. Richard Gutch told reporters, including 1010 WINS' Rebecca Granet.

31 Hurt After 2 Buses Collide In Lincoln Tunnel

None of the 26 students and two staff members on the private bus were hurt, school officials said. The group is in the city for an eighth-grade graduation trip, according to school officials.

"In fact, they were cleared from the scene not long after and are continuing on with their tours of New York City," said Ryan Bird of the Toronto District School Board.

There were two pregnant women aboard another bus stuck in traffic behind the accident, officials said. One of those women began having contractions and was taken to the hospital.

31 Hurt After 2 Buses Collide In Lincoln Tunnel

"Port Authority police went into the tunnel, they rendered aide, stayed with her until EMS personnel arrived," Gutch said. "When the traffic cleared up a bit, they were able to transport that woman via ambulance to the hospital."

The second woman refused medical attention.

The accident caused massive delays, with some cars and buses stuck in the tunnel's center tube for 90 minutes.

"It was claustrophobic," one man told CBS2's Matt Kozar. "You can't move. You can't breathe. And we were surrounded by like six buses."

The center tube was closed to traffic for about two hours.


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