New York School Bus Crash: ‘Faulty tyre’ Leaves Two Dead And Five Critically Injured

Two people have died and five others have been critically injured in a school bus crash in New York.

It appears to have been caused by a faulty front tyre, officials say, adding that an inquiry is underway.

The charter bus was taking pupils from Long Island to a band camp when it came off the road and tumbled into a ditch near the town of Wawayanda.

Officials say 44 people were on the bus. They have been taken to six regional hospitals for treatment.

The two people who died have been named as Gina Pellettiere, 43, and Beatrice Ferarri, 77.

According to the school’s website, Ms Pellettiere worked in the school’s music programme.

Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts, a community music club in Long Island, says on its website that she is the “director of bands” at the Farmingdale High School.

The crash happened at around 13:10 local time (18:10GMT) on Interstate 84, about two hours north of New York City. Police have closed the highway to allow work to be carried out at the crash scene.

The bus was one of six that was chartered to take some 300 pupils from the Farmingdale High School marching band to a music camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania.

Photos show the bus on its side with broken windows and a ladder raised up to help rescue people trapped inside.

“A bus that literally tumbled down a 50-ft (15-meter) ravine within minutes. It’s extraordinary,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in an evening news conference.

“While it’s preliminary, it’s likely that a faulty front tyre contributed to the accident. Although, again, this is still under investigation,” she continued.

“That’s a preliminary determination.”

Emergency officials at the crash siteIMAGE SOURCE,CBS

Most of the students on the bus were around 14 or 15 years old. The governor said it took 45 minutes to rescue all of them from the wreckage.

“I feel bad for them. I hope they feel better. I thought the tyre just came off. I didn’t know they crashed and did flips and stuff,” one student told the network.

“I usually take a bus,” another pupil said. “I don’t think I want to take a bus no more.”

Some pupils said they had seen images of their injured friends on social media.

“My friend came up to me, showed me a photo, her face was all bloodied and stuff. I started crying,” student Wenel Jen-Babtist told ABC News.

“We saw somebody posting on Snapchat, the bus flipped over, we thought it was a joke at first,” student Sean Jacobs said. “We didn’t even know it was serious. It’s horrible.”

The cause of the accident is under investigation by New York State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.

A family reunification centre has been set up at the Orange County Community College.

The camp was due to run from Thursday to Sunday.

The uninjured students are expected to return home.

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