Crash Involving School Bus, Rental Truck, Car Demolishes Queens Storefront, Injures Dozens

Several people were seriously hurt and dozens were evaluated for potential injury after a rental truck collided with a car and school bus with children aboard, then careened through the front of a food store in Queens Friday, pinning a customer beneath it and trapping the driver inside, authorities said. 

The driver and customer were pulled out of the wreckage and taken to the hospital, along with at least one badly hurt child, following the accident shortly before noon outside New Giant Farms, a market known for its fresh fruit and flower sections, on Hillside Avenue in Queens Village, officials said. 

In total, 31 people were taken to hospitals following the crash. That number includes the 24 children who were on the school bus, though all but one of those children were taken there to be evaluated as a precaution, authorities said. 

Photos from an NBC 4 New York producer at the scene showed the front of the store demolished, with a large awning-looking panel awkwardly on the ground as firefighters peered inside the building.

The front of the school bus also appeared to have sustained heavy damage. The window of the door the driver would open to let people on was completely smashed.

Witnesses described a horrific sound "like three bangs ... like metal crashing" at the time of the accident. One said, "Everyone was freaking out because there was blood everywhere." 

The Department of Buildings responded to assess the structural integrity of the building. The cause of the collision remains under investigation, and NYPD officers are working to reconstruct the accident. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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