By Mark Hallum and Bill Parry
Three people were killed and 16 were injured when two buses collided in Flushing early Monday morning. An MTA Q20 bus and a Dahlia charter bus crashed around 6:15 a.m. at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street, police said.
Several of the victims were in critical condition “still fighting for their lives,” according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rushed to the scene. “This is a very painful moment.”
The Dahlia bus slammed into a Kennedy Fried Chicken at 136-04 Northern Blvd. igniting a small fire that was quickly extinguished, according to the FDNY. Among the dead were a pedestrian discovered under one of the buses, a passenger aboard the Q20 and the driver of the charter bus, according to officials at the scene.
The injured were taken to several area hospitals, including New York Presbyterian Queens and Elmhurst Hospital Center.
MTA Chairman Joe Lohta, who was at the scene with the mayor, said speed was a factor as both buses were sent spinning following the collision. The tour bus is suspected of speeding eastbound on Northern Boulevard, where it crashed into the MTA Q20 bus as it was making a turn from Main Street, he added.
The MTA, NYPD and FDNY were all investigating the crash, which is at a preliminary stage, de Blasio said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr