According to a FDNY representative, the incident, which took place around 2:30 p.m., occurred after the bus swerved in order to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle making a sharp turn. Six people were taken to Jamaica Hospital following the accident, according to authorities from the 112th Precinct. Impact from the accident at the back of the building caused most of the bricks and structure in the first and second floors to crumble down. The Department of Buildings came onto the scene to check the building’s structural stability.
Mario Santana, who helped to pull people out from the bus, was in his second floor apartment of the house connected to the one destroyed by the accident. Santana said people living in the adjacent houses were told to evacuate in case the building’s structure was unstable.
Another witness, who was about to cross the street at the time, said she saw the bus driving at the same pace of a car to its left who had it’s right-turn signal on.
“Neither of them were slowing down, the casino driver was beeping his horn and the guy in the other car went to make his right turn almost right in front of him,” AnnMarie Constantinides, the witness, said.
Constantinides said the driver of the bus had been dealt with the brunt of the accident after crashing into the back of the Law Offices of John T. Landers.
“Some men were trying to open the side door, but it was so crushed in the front that they couldn’t open the door,” she said. “There weren’t any emergency exits on the bus because people were banging on the windows and when they finally pried one open, that’s how people were able to get out.”
Driver Ravendra Persaud also saw the accident as it occurred. He attempted to pull the driver out.
“He was stuck because there was so much glass and bricks, and everything was covered on him,” Persaud said, adding that it took the longest to get the driver out. “I saw his face gushing with blood.”
The driver of the other car in the accident remained on the scene until the police arrived.
The bus is operated by Trans Express, Inc., which also operates bus rides to Foxwood & Mohegan Sun Resort and Casinos in Connecticut as well as a string of Atlantic City casinos.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Resorts World Casino expressed concern in this afternoon’s accident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by today’s bus accident,” the spokesperson said. “We are cooperating fully with the authorities in the investigation.”