Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A bus filled with tourists crashes on Interstate 81 South on Wednesday, sending many passengers to the hospital. Crews are working to determine a cause to the crash.
A trip from Niagara Falls to Newark, New Jersey ended for 28 Polish tourists in a gully alongside Interstate 81 near the Whitney Point exit.
Their tour bus crashed, landing on its roof.
A driver and tour guide were also on board.
"At the time of the accident, there was a heavy downpour right here which contributed to it," said Sergeant Todd Burdick, New York State Police Troop C.
Many of the passengers freed themselves from the wreckage. One woman was pinned under the vehicle.
"They had to actually dig the dirt underneath the bus to free the lady," Sergeant Burdick said.
"It was a combination of efforts from the four fire departments they did an excellent job," said Brett Chellis, Broome County Director of Emergency Management.
Responders transported nineteen passengers to the hospital. Others were sheltered at the Castle Creek Fire Station.
The crash did not take any lives -- something perhaps difficult to fathom when you look at what's left of the bus.
Some credit goes to fast response.
"We have centralized 911 in Broome County, the call goes out to state police, we got law enforcement, fire and EMS all responding at once, and they mobilized quickly," Chellis said. "That's what we do."
Interstate 81 South had been closed for hours. The road reopened around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.
An accident reconstruction team was expected to work through the night.
State Police say the bus was licensed to Princeton Holdings of Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
Troopers identified the driver as Albert B. Moore Jr., 30, of Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
No tickets have been issued yet, and State Police say the investigation is in its preliminary stages.
Troopers are working with the Department of Transportation to conduct a full safety review of the bus.