A charter bus heading from Queens to a casino overturned on a snow-covered highway in Connecticut Monday afternoon, injuring more than 30 people and forcing state police to shut down Interstate 95 for hours.
The Dahlia bus was heading from New York City to the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncansville, Connecticut, when it flipped over on Interstate 95 west of New Haven, officials say.
Fifty-five people, including the driver, were aboard the bus when it flipped, authorities say. Around thirty of those on board were able to get out on their own, and several were seen on video climbing out of the front and top of the crashed vehicle.
None of those aboard the bus were children, authorities said.
Mark D'Antonio, a Yale hospital spokesman, said they received eight patients, far fewer than the 30 they had originally been told to expect. One person suffered several broken bones and the others were less seriously injured with cuts and bruises, he said.
"They initially expected worse in the field and told us to prepare for the worst," he said. "Once they got down to nuts and bolts and triaged everybody, they realized it was not as serious as they thought."
Other patients were taken to area hospitals with injuries of varying severity.
The uninjured were taken to a nearby gymnasium.
In a statement, VMC East Coast, which operates the bus for Dhalia, said it was saddened "that this has happened today" and thanked firefighters, paramedics and police.
"We pray that all our passengers are OK and will be safely returned to their families soon," the statement read. "We may release more information in the coming days."
I-95 was closed between exits 60 and 61 following the rollover.
The bus overturned amid a powerful storm that forced a New Jersey-based cruise ship to turn around a day after it set sale and was blamed for coastal flooding in New Jersey and Long Island and blizzard-like conditions in Suffolk County.
At the time of the crash, it had been snowing in Connecticut for several hours. About 2 to 3 inches of snow had fallen on Madison by Monday afternoon.
Gov. Dannel Malloy urged motorists to exercise extreme caution when driving in the storm.
"Our thoughts are with those who are injured, and we extend our gratitude to the first responders who are working to protect the safety of all those involved," the governor said, in part. "We urge all those who must travel to use added caution, allow extra time to travel, and reduce speeds as conditions warrant."
A representative for Mohegan Sun, one of the largest casinos in the country, said that all other buses headed there from New York City were being sent back.