What to Know
- News 4 has obtained surveillance video of an MTA bus crash into a Brooklyn brownstone earlier this week that the transit agency describes as "disturbing on many levels;" 16 people were hurt
- The MTA said of the footage, which shows the moment the driver lost control of the bus and crashed into the building, "it appears many of our basic safety rules were violated in this incident"
- As of Wednesday morning, the bus was still inside the brownstone amid fears removing it could cause the entire three-story structure to collapse
Two days after a city bus crashed into a three-story brownstone in Brooklyn, injuring more than a dozen people, News 4 has obtained shocking surveillance video of the incident that the MTA describes as "disturbing on many levels."
The MTA also said in its response to the footage Wednesday that it raised "questions about whether basic safety rules were followed. The incident remains under investigation and we will have more to say when that is complete."
The video from a camera inside the bus showed the driver remove one bag from the floor of his seat, then get up and get back into the seat. He can bee seen releaseing what appears to be some sort of emergency brake, and the bus immediately lurches forwards, hitting the vehicle in front.
Instead of stopping, the bus hits the vehicle again, then seems to accelerate as the driver furiously steers the bus into the other lane. The driver crashes into a black pick-up truck before hitting the building.
The bus slammed into the brownstone Monday afternoon, leaving 16 people hurt and causing significant damage to the building. The bus was still inside that building as of Wednesday amid concerns removing it could cause the entire structure to collapse, officials say.
Before the bus can be removed the building's owner must install shoring to prevent a potential collapse, according to the Department of Buildings, which is working with engineers hired by the building's owner to make sure this is in place.
The crash happened shortly before 2 p.m. Monday when the bus crashed head-on into the building on Lincoln Road in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The bus was traveling southbound on Bedford Avenue before the crash, officials said.
FDNY personnel and EMS responded to the scene within minutes and helped evacuate the bus and anyone inside of the building. In total, 16 people suffered "minor or moderate" injuries and 13 of those were transported to a hospital, FDNY officials said.
MTA union leaders asked the public not to rush to judgment of the driver, with TWU local vice president JP Patafio calling him a "veteran operator with an exemplary record. He's driven hundreds of thousands of miles without having an accident." Patafio said the driver is recovering and traumatized, and said there were no serious injuries or worse because the driver "steered clear" of other things.
Inspectors and engineers from the NYC Department of Buildings were dispatched to the scene, finding that the structural stability had been compromised enough to make the building unsafe to occupy. The entire building was ordered to vacate.
The DOB engineers ordered emergency work orders to repair the font of the building, which must be done in order to safely remove the bus from the building. A DOB investigation is ongoing.
An initial investigation of the crash does not indicate the bus was traveling at a high rate of speed and there is no evidence of a mechanical issue, MTA Bus Company President Craig Cipriano said.
The bus driver, 55, hasn't had many collisions in his 13 years on the job, Cipriano added.
A tenant of the building says the top floor is a residential unit while the lower levels are used as a doctor's office. Elena was inside the third-floor unit with one of their roommates and felt the impact when the bus hit.
"I just heard screeching sounds and then I heard a really really loud crunching sound, like metal into stone and bricks," they said several hours after the impact, still waiting to hear when they could get back inside. "It's a little crazy, but it's not the craziest thing. I'm grateful to be alive."