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Minor injuries, heavy traffic after bus topples in Bayside

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About a dozen disabled children and adolescents suffered minor injuries in Bayside Monday when a minibus flipped over on the Cross Island Parkway off-ramp heading toward Northern Boulevard, police said.

The blue and white minibus hit both guardrails on the ramp toward eastbound Northern Boulevard after it fell on its side at about 3:30 p.m. Monday, forcing police to shut down the ramp and seriously delaying rush hour traffic in the area.

Officials on the scene said injuries to those in the bus were not life-threatening. Police said the children on the bus were taken to North Shore University Hospital Monday with minor injuries, treated and released. It was unclear where the children were from or where the bus was taking them at the time of the accident.

The bus was operated by the Staten Island-based Outstanding Transport Inc., a company that does contract work to transport developmentally disabled adults. The company refused to answer requests for information about the bus or the accident.

No arrests were made and no summonses were issued in the case, police said.

Traffic on both the Cross Island Parkway and Northern Boulevard slowed to a crawl as drivers watched about nine emergency vehicles treat victims and secure the scene. It took emergency workers less than an hour to pick up the bus.

Pieces of the minibus were blown several feet away from the damaged vehicle, including a hubcap and a side-view mirror. The front end of the bus was charred and blackened, the windshield was blown out and one of the front tires was bent out sideways.

At least nine emergency vehicles, including ambulances from the Bayside Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Flushing Hospital and fire trucks from Ladder Co. 164 in Douglaston and Engine Co. 326 in Bayside, helped secure the scene and treat the injured children.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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