Bus crash in Atlantic City, NJ, injures 24 people; 2 in critical condition

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A bus carrying 50 people to this seaside gambling resort from New York's Chinatown rear-ended a car Thursday, skidding along a retaining wall on a bridge for 80 feet before stopping. The crash injured 24 people, two of them critically, authorities said.

The bus driver was thrown from the vehicle at some point; it wasn't clear whether he was among those in critical condition.

"There was traffic stopped in front of him and he realized he was having issues stopping the bus," police Capt. Joseph Nolan said.

The bus initially struck a center divider, then rear-ended a Mazda, which spun around. The bus driver swerved to avoid hitting other vehicles, and the bus struck the retaining wall on a bridge over Absecon Bay. It then skidded along the wall, Nolan said.

The bus windshield was smashed out and its front grill and bumper were gone. Its front passenger door was mangled and hanging off the side.

Two people were critically injured, authorities said. Twenty-two others were being treated at hospitals. There was no immediate information available on their conditions. Uninjured passengers were taken to the Tropicana Casino and Resort.

The driver was ejected, authorities said. It wasn't clear whether he was wearing a seat belt.

The bus is owned by Sun Lee Bus Co. of New York City and was carrying passengers from Chinatown, police said.

The accident occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. on eastbound Route 40, known locally as Albany Avenue, on the outskirts of the city.